Professor Jenny S. Martinez appointed new dean of Stanford Law School

Feb. 6, 2019, 3:16 p.m.

Jenny S. Martinez will become the new dean of the Stanford Law School starting April 2019, announced Provost Persis Drell on Wednesday. Martinez is currently the Warren Christopher Professor in the Practice of International Law and Diplomacy.

Having joined the Stanford Law faculty in 2003, Martinez is an experienced litigator and currently teaches courses on international law, constitutional law, civil procedure and international business transactions.

“I’m honored and thrilled to have the opportunity to serve because Stanford Law School is an amazing place, with so many talented students, faculty, staff and alumni,” Martinez wrote in an email to The Daily. “I’m excited to build on our strengths and do even more to increase our positive impact in the world.”  

She has been involved in promoting diversity and inclusion in Stanford’s recent initiatives, chairing a working group devoted to strengthening the student experience at the law school.

“[Martinez] has a naturally collaborative style of leadership and a vibrant vision for Stanford Law School’s role in a rapidly changing world,” said Jane Schacter, professor of law and co-chair of the search committee for the new dean. “She is well positioned to hit the ground running and provide wise and creative leadership to move the school forward.”

An active member of the American Law Institute and U.S. State Department’s Advisory Committee on International Law, Martinez has previously clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Martinez has also served as associate legal officer for Judge Patricia Wald of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, working on trials related to war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.

“So many contemporary legal and policy issues — whether it be climate change, criminal justice reform, migration and refugee issues, artificial intelligence, and many more — require the expertise of not just lawyers, but scientists, engineers, historians, economists, and more,” Martinez wrote. “Stanford lawyers have a really important role to play in contributing to solving pressing problems in our community, nation, and world and I want to help make that happen.”

Martinez will succeed Mary Elizabeth Magill, who has served as the dean of Stanford Law since 2012. During her tenure, Magill worked to expand experiential learning opportunities for students through the creation of the Law & Policy Lab — a unique incubator with a focus on finding solutions to the world’s most pressing policy issues — as well as Global Initiative, which aims to incorporate the complexity of an increasingly-globalizing word into the law school curriculum.

“Magill has led Stanford Law School to new heights of achievement and innovation,” Drell said. “I am delighted that Jenny Martinez has agreed to serve as dean of the Stanford Law School. She brings an enthusiasm for the future of Stanford Law School and she will be a great addition to the senior leadership of the university.”


Contact Tejas Athni at tathni ‘at’

Tejas Athni '22 is a Desk Editor for the News section, originally from Macon, Georgia. Contact him at tathni 'at'

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