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Wayne Law names permanent dean

Jocelyn Benson
Jocelyn Benson
Wayne State University

Jocelyn Benson, 36, becomes youngest woman ever to lead a U.S. law school

Wayne State University announced this week that Jocelyn Benson, who has served as interim dean of Wayne State University Law School since December 2012, has received an appointment as permanent dean. The appointment is effective Monday, June 16.

Benson, selected for the permanent deanship after a national search, joined the Wayne Law faculty in 2005. She becomes the law school’s 11th dean and the second woman to hold the job since the founding of Wayne Law in 1927.

Prior to serving as interim dean, Benson was an associate professor of law and associate director of the law school’s Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights. Her areas of expertise include civil rights law, education law and election law.

Published in 2010, her book, State Secretaries of State: Guardians of the Democratic Process, is the first major book on the role of the secretary of state in enforcing election and campaign finance laws. That same year, she was the Democratic candidate for Michigan’s secretary of state.

Prior to joining the Wayne Law faculty, Benson clerked for Judge Damon J. Keith on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She also worked as a legal assistant to Nina Totenberg at National Public Radio and investigated hate groups and hate crimes for the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Arts from Wellesley College, Master of Philosophy from Oxford University and a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School.