Dean Danielle R. Holley

Professor of Law and Dean of Howard University School of Law

Harvard Law School, J.D., June 1999
Yale University, B.A., May 1996


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.


Law Review Articles

“A New Era for Desegregation,” 28:2 Ga. St. L. Rev. 423 (2012). 

“After Unitary Status: Examining Voluntary Integration Strategies for Southern School Districts,” 88:3 N. C. L. REV. 877 (2010). 

“Educating at the Crossroads: Parents Involved, No Child Left Behind, and School Choice,” 69:5 OHIO STATE L.J. 911 (2008). 

“The Accountability Cycle: The Recovery School District Act and New Orleans’ Charter Schools,” 40:1 CONN. L. REV. 125 (2007). 

“The Importance of Negotiated Rulemaking To the No Child Left Behind Act,” 85:4 NEB. L. REV. 1015 (2007). 

“Narrative Highground: The Failure of Intervention as a Procedural Device in Affirmative Action Litigation,” 53 CASE W. RES. L. REV. 103 (Fall 2003). 

“Texas Ten Percent Plan” (with D. Spencer), 34 HARV. C.R.-C.L. 245 (1999). 

Essays and Other Law Review Publications

“Socioeconomic Integration and the Law School Admissions Process—A Response to Richard Sander,” 88:4 DENVER L. REV. 845 (invited symposium) (2011). 

“In Search of Equality: Equal Protection Challenges to State Bans on the Admission of Undocumented Immigrants to Public Colleges and Universities,” 2011:2 MICH. ST. L. REV. 357 (selected AALS Call for Papers) (2011). 

“Not Very Collegial: Exploring Bans on Undocumented Immigrant Admissions to State Colleges and Universities” (with Marcia Yablon-Zug), 3:3 CHARLESTON L. REV. 421 (2009). 

“Is Brown Dying? Exploring the Resegregation Trend in Our Public Schools,” 49 N.Y.L. SCH. L. REV. 1085 (2004-2005) (invited symposium). 

Book Chapters


“The Recovery School District Act and New Orleans’ Charter Schools” in LAW & DISASTERS: CHILDREN AND THE LAW AFTER THE KATRINA DISASTER (2008).