Faculty & Staff Achievements

Johanna Kalb Appointed Dean of the University of San Francisco School of Law Effective July 1, 2024

SAN FRANCISCO (July 2, 2024) – The University of San Francisco (USF) has announced that accomplished leader and scholar Johanna Kalb has been appointed to the role of dean of the School of Law. Serving as the USF School of Law’s 20th dean, Kalb was previously the first woman to serve as dean of University of Idaho College of Law. 

“I am impressed with Johanna’s passion for USF’s mission and Jesuit values, and her commitment to advocating for law students, faculty, and staff,” said Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Eileen Chia-Ching Fung. “She displays a strong vision of collaborative leadership, inclusive partnership, and data-driven decision making that will position our law school for continued success. She has a clear understanding of where USF currently stands and the potential it holds for the future, not shying away from challenges and thriving on an enterprising approach to community engagement and growth.” 

Under her leadership at the University of Idaho, the law school’s incoming classes grew to be the largest and most diverse in the college’s history. Among the projects she oversaw were the acquisition of, and move into, a new building for the Boise campus; the design and implementation of a comprehensive plan for improving inclusion and belonging at the law school; and the college’s two most successful fundraising years. She also prioritized the creation of an extensive program for academic success and bar preparation that resulted in a 10 percent improvement in bar passage for recent graduates.

“I love that USF understands that a Jesuit legal education is broad and inclusive — you can do good as a public defender, of course, but you can also do good as a tech lawyer, as an entertainment lawyer, as a tax lawyer,” said Kalb. “We want to have lawyers practicing in a broad array of disciplines because that means we’re bringing good lawyers, who want to have a positive impact on the world, to every area of the profession.”

Prior to her time in Idaho, Kalb was associate dean of administration and special initiatives and Edward J. Womac Jr. Distinguished Professor of Law at Loyola University New Orleans School of Law. A widely published human rights scholar, her research and teaching interests include constitutional law, international human rights, and the law of democracy. She is a co-author of the first law school textbook focused on domestic human rights, ‘Human Rights Advocacy in the United States’, and her recent scholarship appears in the U.C. Irvine Law Review, Yale Journal of International Law, Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and other journals.

An academic fellow of the National Civil Justice Institute and a member of the Law School Admission Council’s committee on diversity, Kalb is also a member of the Deans Steering Committee of the American Association of Law Schools, and a contributing author to the leadership volume of Penn State Dickinson’s book series on building anti-racist legal education. From 2014 to 2016, she served as visiting associate professor of law and director of the Arthur Liman Public Interest Program at Yale Law School, and from 2013 to 2021, she was a fellow in the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law.

Kalb earned a BA in German studies from Stanford University, followed by an MA in international relations from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a JD from Yale University.

About the USF School of Law

Founded in 1912, the University of San Francisco School of Law has a tradition of educating effective lawyers who graduate with the professional skills and theoretical foundation necessary to succeed in the legal profession. The USF School of Law offers a rigorous education with a global perspective in a diverse, supportive community. Our graduates are skilled, ethical professionals prepared for any legal career — from intellectual property law to litigation and more — with a commitment to social justice as their enduring foundation. The USF School of Law offers full- and part-time Juris Doctor programs that empower students to develop their analytical abilities, master legal writing and research skills, acquire a firm foundation of basic law, explore an array of specialties, and refine their professional legal skills in practical settings. The law school also offers Master of Laws (LLM) programs in Taxation, Intellectual Property and Technology Law, and International Transactions and Comparative Law (for foreign lawyers), and a Master of Legal Studies in Taxation (MLST) for non-lawyers. The USF School of Law is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. For more information, visit usfca.edu/law.

About the University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco is a private, Jesuit Catholic university that reflects the diversity, optimism, and opportunities of the city that surrounds it. USF offers more than 230 undergraduate, graduate, professional, and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, law, education, and nursing and health professions. At USF, each course is an intimate learning community in which top professors encourage students to turn learning into positive action, so the students graduate equipped to do well in the world — and inspired to change it for the better. For more information, visit usfca.edu.