Award-winning legal educator and administrator Gilbert Holmes has been selected as the new dean of the University of La Verne College of Law, school officials announced Monday.
University President Devorah Lieberman made the formal announcement from during a meeting at the La Verne Law campus in Ontario.
Holmes, professor of law and former dean at University of Baltimore School of Law, is scheduled to officially assume his duties by no later than July 1. His appointment marks the conclusion of an extensive national search, university officials said.
“It is a pleasure to welcome Gilbert Holmes to the University of La Verne community,” Lieberman said through a written statement. “The task put before the search committee was to identify the best candidate who could bring vision, energy and commitment to this vital position at the College of Law. They have succeeded in doing just that. His values mirror those of the university’s mission, and his professional strengths and insights make him the right choice at the right time to lead the College of Law.”
The appointment of Holmes will have a transformational impact on the law school, its students and the entire region, wrote University Provost Dr. Gregory Dewey in the news release.
“Gilbert Holmes possesses a deep understanding of legal education and extensive administrative experience that will be a tremendous benefit for our students, our faculty and staff, and the local legal community,” Dewey wrote. “This is an exciting time for our College of Law and a time of dynamic change for legal education in general. Gil Holmes is uniquely qualified and eminently prepared to develop La Verne Law to be an exemplary, innovative institution.”
Holmes succeeds Philip Hawkey, who was appointed acting dean in January 2012.
During his nearly 23 years in legal education, Holmes has served as a faculty member and administrator at several distinguished law schools. He was dean and taught at the University of Baltimore School of Law from 2001-07, where he remains on faculty as professor of law. During his time at UB School of Law, he also spent two semesters as a visiting professor at Florida A&M University College of Law. And in 2010 he founded the Charles Hamilton Houston Scholars Program, which equips under-represented college freshmen and sophomores with the educational and academic success skills to improve their undergraduate performance and enhance their opportunity for admission to and success in law school.
A New York state native, Holmes was born in Brooklyn and was raised in Mount Vernon. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Bucknell University (Pa.) and a juris doctor from New York University School of Law.
His wife of 33 years, Joy Clarke-Holmes, is a senior level executive in the energy services performance contracting industry. She has worked the past 12 years for Johnson Controls, most recently as a regional vice president and general manager.
They have two children. Kwame Holmes graduated Magna Cum Laude from Florida A&M with a bachelor’s degree in American History/African-American Studies, and earned a Ph.D. in American History from the University of Illinois-Champagne/Urbana. A Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Virginia’s Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies (2011-13), he is scheduled to join the faculty at the University of Colorado Boulder this summer as an assistant professor of history. Rashida Holmes, who attended the University of Pittsburgh and Baltimore International College, works in the culinary industry, most recently in Pittsburgh. She plans to move to Los Angeles this spring prior to relocating in Spain in fall 2013.