Guthrie reappointed as dean of Vanderbilt Law School  

Cybele Raver, Vanderbilt University’s provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, announced today that the university has reappointed Chris Guthrie as dean of the Vanderbilt Law School. The reappointment is for a five-year term starting July 1, at which point Guthrie will have completed 15 years in the role.  

Chris Guthrie (Vanderbilt University)
Chris Guthrie (Vanderbilt University)

“I’m so pleased to renew Chris Guthrie’s appointment as dean—it is a testament to his outstanding leadership, both here at Vanderbilt and in higher education, more broadly,” Raver said. “Under Guthrie’s visionary leadership, the Law School has achieved landmark successes across key areas of faculty hiring and highly cited scholarly inquiry, innovative new programs in legal education, and the launch of highest-impact clinics and programs. I know that he will continue to inspire and support our faculty, students and staff to achieve our bold ambitions in the years ahead. 

“Under Dean Guthrie’s leadership, the Law School has continued to advance and excel in critical areas including the ethical application of artificial intelligence, access to justice and political economy issues,” Vanderbilt University Chancellor Daniel Diermeier said. “I look forward to his continued impact on making the Law School a preeminent choice for faculty and students around the globe.” 

Guthrie said he is honored and humbled to continue his deanship. 

“Our faculty, students, staff and alumni are extraordinary, and I have been so fortunate to serve them as dean for the past decade and a half. I am truly grateful to have the opportunity to continue to support them in the coming years,” Guthrie said. 

During Guthrie’s tenure as dean, Vanderbilt Law School has thrived despite the Great Recession, the pandemic and devastating flooding in Nashville and in the Law School building. The Vanderbilt Law School faculty have done pathbreaking research, devoted themselves to students inside and outside the classroom, and helped develop and lead innovative programs such as the J.D./M.S. in Finance program, the Law School’s online Master of Legal Studies degree and several innovative academic programs such as the George Barrett Social Justice Program; the Weaver Family Program in Law, Brain Sciences, and Behavior; the Vanderbilt AI Law Lab and several legal clinics.   

Additionally, the Vanderbilt Law School applicant pool has grown dramatically, and today’s J.D. student body is more diverse and academically talented than at any point in the Law School’s history. Vanderbilt alumni and friends have invested in the Law School throughout Guthrie’s tenure as dean, making it possible for the school to nearly quadruple the book value of its endowment, more than triple the number of endowed chairs for faculty and nearly triple the number of endowed scholarships for students.   

Guthrie graduated with distinction and honors in 1989 from Stanford University before earning his master’s in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and then a law degree from Stanford Law School. He joined the Vanderbilt Law School in 2002, served as associate dean for academic affairs from 2004 to 2008 and became dean in 2009. He is an award-winning teacher and a widely respected expert on behavioral law and economics, dispute resolution, negotiation and judicial decision-making who has received multiple prizes for his scholarly research.  

Fast Facts about Vanderbilt Law School 


52 Full-Time Faculty  

 Scholarly impact rankings 

  • No. 7: Sag (FSU Law Review, 2024), based on Hein citations  
  • No. 9: Leiter/Sisk (SSRN, 2021), based on W/L citations 
  • No. 5: Heald & Sichelman (Jurimetrics, 2019), based on citations and downloads 
  • No. 9: Vandenbergh, Ruhl & Dunaway (JLE, 2021), based on non-law citations 


  • 167 students in Class of 2026 (58% women, 37% minority, from 37 states, D.C., and Canada, and from 91 colleges/universities) 
  • Total J.D. enrollment: 515  


  • J.D. 
  • LL.M. 
  • J.D./Ph.D. Program in Law & Economics
  • Online M.L.S. programs 

 Academic Programs 

  • Branstetter Litigation and Dispute Resolution Program
  • Criminal Justice Program  
  • Energy, Environment and Land Use Program 
  • George Barrett Social Justice Program 
  • Intellectual Property Program 
  • International Legal Studies Program 
  • Law and Business Program 
  • Program in Law and Government 
  • Program on Law and Innovation 
  • Weaver Program in Law, Brain Sciences, and Behavior 


  • Criminal Practice Clinic 
  • Stanton Foundation First Amendment Clinic 
  • Housing Law Clinic 
  • Immigration Practice Clinic 
  • Intellectual Property and the Arts Clinic 
  • International Law Practice Lab 
  • Turner Family Community Enterprise Clinic 
  • Youth Opportunity Clinic  

Career Accomplishments 

  • No. 11: Federal Judicial Clerkship Report of Recent Law School Graduates (2020), based on American Bar Association Data 
  • No. 10: Law schools that sent highest percentage of 2022 graduates to nation’s 100 largest law firms, National Law Review/