Anthony E. Varona is Dean and Professor of Law at Seattle University School of Law. Between 2019 and 2021, he was Dean and M. Minnette Massey Professor of Law at the University of Miami School of Law. Under his leadership, Miami Law recruited the two strongest classes in Miami Law history, boosted the school’s bar pass rates – including by 10% on the summer Florida Bar Exam, elevated both USNWR reputation ratings and nine of 12 specialty rankings, and brought in over $8M in cash and commitments (despite COVID’s arrival at the start of his deanship). He launched intellectual life, international law, human rights, environmental law, and transactional skills programs, among others, spearheaded the creation of a new SJD Program, recruited several key faculty and senior staff colleagues, and led the law school’s prominent response to the national racial justice reckoning. He helped launch both the ABA Legal Education Police Practices Consortium as well as the Florida Law Schools’ Consortium for Racial Justice.
Before his Miami Law deanship, Varona was Vice Dean, an Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs, Professor of Law, and an SJD Program Director at American University in Washington, D.C., where he taught Contracts, Administrative and Public Law, and Media Law. Before his 14 years at American, Varona was on the faculty at Pace University School of Law. Before that, Dean Varona served as the General Counsel and Legal Director for the Human Rights Campaign, and was an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center. Earlier in his career, he was an associate at Skadden Arps and at Mintz Levin, and he was an honors program enforcement attorney at the Federal Communications Commission. In 2001-02, Dean Varona was a Harvard Law School Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow.
Dean Varona received an LL.M. from Georgetown University in 1996, a J.D. from Boston College Law School in 1992, and an A.B. from Boston College in 1989. He has served on the boards of directors for GLAAD, HRC, and the Alliance for Justice, was on the New York Advisory Board for the American Constitution Society, and he was founding chairperson of the AIDS Action Legal Advisory Council. Varona most recently served on the Stonewall National Museum & Archives board of directors and was a founding co-chair of SNMA’s National Advisory Council. He has lectured widely and has appeared as a legal commentator on major national media outlets. He is the recipient of the 2009 Hugh A. Johnson, Jr. Memorial Award from the Washington Hispanic Bar Association, and he was honored by American University with the 2014 Outstanding Teaching in a Full-Time Appointment Award, the 2007-2008 Teacher of the Year Award, and with the 2018 Egon Guttman Casebook Award with Professors Andrew Popper and Mark Niles. Lawyers of Color Magazine named Dean Varona to its 2020 Power List, and in 2014 the magazine named him to its “50 Under 50 List.” In 2018-2019 Professor Varona chaired the Host/Planning Committee for the Fourth National People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference, thought to be the largest gathering of legal scholars of color in history. He delivered the Jerome McCristal Culp, Jr., Memorial Lecture at the 2021 LatCrit Scholarship Conference.