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Danielle R. Holley_Higginbotham Leadership Awards 2022_Speaker

Danielle R. Holley is the Dean of Howard University School of Law. Dean Holley is a scholar of education law and civil rights, and an expert on diversity in the legal profession and higher education. Dean Holley holds a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and she was a law clerk to Judge Carl E. Stewart on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.


Dean Holley joined Howard University School of Law in 2014 as the dean and a professor of law. She teaches a wide variety of classes, including Legislation and Regulation, Inequality and Education, Civil Procedure, Administrative Law, Federal Courts, and Leadership for Lawyers. Her scholarship focuses on the governance of public schools, increasing access to higher education, and diversity in the legal profession.

Dean Holley has won numerous awards, including the inaugural Impact Award from the Association of American Law Schools, the American Bar Foundation’s Montgomery Summer Research Diversity Fellowship Distinguished Alumni Award, the Lutie Lytle Conference Outstanding Scholar Award, the National Bar Association’s Heman Sweat Award, and the University of South Carolina Educational Foundation’s Outstanding Service Award. She was twice awarded the Outstanding Faculty Member award during her tenure at the University of South Carolina School of Law.


Dean Holley serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and on the board of the Howard University Middle School for Math and Science. She is a Liberty Fellow through the Aspen Global Leadership Network. She is also a fellow with the American Council of Education.


Prior to joining the Howard faculty, Dean Holley was the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Distinguished Professor of Education Law at the University of South Carolina. Prior to her career in academia, Dean Holley practiced civil litigation at Fulbright & Jaworski in Houston, Texas.

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