Loyola University Chicago

Founders' Dinner - Archive

David N. Yellen


David N. Yellen has served as dean and a professor of law at Loyola University Chicago's School of Law since 2005. His major area of academic expertise is criminal law, particularly sentencing and juvenile justice. He has written widely about these issues, advised President Bill Clinton's transition team on white collar crime, and argued a federal sentencing case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

While at Loyola, Yellen has worked to help expand diversity in legal education and the profession. To provide a forum for alumni, students, faculty, and staff to discuss issues affecting people of color as they go through law school and begin their careers, he created the Dean’s Diversity Council in 2007. For the past four years, Loyola has been one of 10 schools to receive the Law School Admission Council’s 2014 Diversity Matters Award for its commitment to minority student outreach programs.

Yellen has been very involved in legal education leadership and reform efforts. He served for six years on the Standards Review Committee of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Section on Legal Education. He also served on the ABA’s Task Force on the Future of Legal Education. At Loyola, he has chaired the new deans workshop and the deans’ mid-year meeting. He has also chaired numerous accreditation site visits.

For the third year in a row, Yellen has been named by National Jurist magazine as one of the 25 Most Influential People in Legal Education. This year, he is #7 on the list of those having the most influence in 2015.

Yellen is a graduate of Princeton University and Cornell Law School. After law school, he clerked for a federal judge, practiced law in Washington, DC, and served as counsel to the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. He is a member of the Illinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Council and the board of directors of the Constitutional Rights Foundation of Chicago, and he is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

Prior to Loyola, Yellen was a member of the faculty of Hofstra Law School, holding the Max Schmertz Distinguished Professorship and serving as dean. He has been the Reuschlein Distinguished Visiting Professor at Villanova University School of Law, as well as a visiting professor at Cornell Law School and New York Law School.