Message from the Dean

Roger A. Fairfax, Jr.  Dean and Professor of Law Howard University School of Law

Message from the Dean

It is my distinct honor and privilege to welcome you to Howard University School of Law. We are a community of dedicated faculty, staff, students, alumni, and partners committed to unparalleled excellence in legal education, impactful scholarship and thought leadership, and social justice. Our rich history and tradition of producing leaders in law and public service inspire our ongoing efforts to champion racial equity and justice. I invite you to explore our vibrant community and learn more about the dynamic programs and opportunities that make Howard Law a special place to study law.

In Truth and Service,

Roger A. Fairfax Jr.
Dean and Professor of Law


Dean Roger A. Fairfax, Jr. began his tenure as Dean and Professor of Law at Howard University School of Law (HUSL) on July 1, 2024.  Dean Fairfax previously served as the 19th Dean of the American University Washington College of Law, the first Black man to lead that law school.  He previously served as Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Patricia Roberts Harris Research Professor of Law at George Washington University Law School, where he founded and directed the Criminal Law and Policy Initiative. 


Dean Fairfax’s scholarship is published in books and leading journals, and he teaches and conducts research on criminal law and procedure, professional responsibility and ethics, criminal justice reform, racial justice, and civil rights legal history.  He has championed diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts throughout higher education and the legal profession, and he is a member of the Association of American Law Schools Steering Committee leading the Deans of the nation’s 200 law schools.

After clerking for federal judges on the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Dean Fairfax served as an Attorney General Honors Program Trial Attorney in the Public Integrity Section of the U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division, where he handled a wide array of white-collar and corruption investigations and prosecutions.  He then practiced at a large international law firm, where he handled corporate internal investigations, strategic counseling, complex trial and appellate litigation, securities enforcement and other white-collar criminal matters, and pro bono civil rights and indigent criminal defense cases.  

Dean Fairfax currently serves on the boards of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, the ABA Criminal Justice magazine, City Year DC, and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. He is a member of the American Law Institute and the Judicial Conference of the United States advisory committee responsible for drafting and revising the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. 

He has served on the Board of Governors of the National Bar Association, the Board of Trustees of the Maryland Office of the Public Defender, the ABA Criminal Justice Section Council, and as a Senior Fellow at the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School.  

Dean Fairfax graduated from Archbishop Carroll High School in northeast D.C. He earned his undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard College, a graduate degree, with distinction, from the University of London, and his law degree, cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where he was an NAACP Legal Defense Fund Scholar, BLSA Executive Board member, and an editor of both the Harvard Law Review and the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. 



Office of the Dean
Roger A. Fairfax Jr.

Ms. Shalonda Colbert
Special Assistant to the Dean

Ms. La Shawn D. Reeder
Administrative Assistant

112 Charles Hamilton Houston Hall

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(202) 806-8000