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Dean Nichols poses atop a stairwell.

School of Law

Meet the Dean

Meet the Interim Dean

Joel A. Nichols is the School of Law’s interim dean. Prior to serving in this role, he was a law professor and the school’s associate dean for academic affairs.

Portrait of Dean Joel A. Nichols.

About Dean Nichols

Dean Nichols joined the University of St. Thomas School of Law in 2007, received tenure in 2009 and was promoted to professor of law in 2012. He served as the associate dean for academic affairs from 2013-2022. Nichols was named interim dean of the law school when Dean Robert Vischer was selected as president of the University of St. Thomas.

Nichols is an expert on law and theology and his writing often focuses on the intersection of law and religion. He has authored more than two dozen publications, including books with Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press and Westview Press; articles in NYU Law Review, Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law and Journal of Law and Religion; and book chapters with Mohr Siebeck, InterVarsity Press and Cambridge University Press. He has also been a reviewer for several prominent publishers.

Prior to joining St. Thomas Law, Dean Nichols practiced complex civil litigation in Washington, D.C., at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (now WilmerHale), clerked for Judge Gerald Bard Tioflat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and taught at Pepperdine Law School.

Nichols holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude, from Abilene Christian University, a Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University and a Juris Doctor, with high honors, from Emory Law School.

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