LSSSE Names Meera E. Deo As Director

The Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE), based at Indiana University, Bloomington, announced the appointment of Meera Deo to the position of Director, which is effective as of January 1, 2018. 

Deo succeeds Aaron Taylor, currently Executive Director of AccessLex Center for Legal Education Excellence and Associate Professor at Saint Louis University School of Law. Under his leadership, LSSSE garnered national attention for its work promoting assessment and diversity in legal education. Taylor assumed the directorship of LSSSE in 2014.  

"At a time when legal education is undergoing considerable change, LSSSE provides law schools with invaluable information to shape the experiences of law students and to create change in the education provided to those students,” Tom Nelson Laird, Director of the Center for Postsecondary Research at Indiana University, said. “We are thrilled to have Meera Deo join LSSSE as its director and to use her perspective as a legal scholar and social scientist to help law schools create the future of legal education.”  

Deo is Professor of Law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, with previous visiting positions at Berkeley Law, UCLA School of Law, and UCI Irvine School of Law. She holds a doctorate in Sociology from UCLA, and earned a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and a B.A. from UC Berkeley. 

As a law student and new attorney, Deo was an intervening-defendant and member of the legal team supporting affirmative action in the landmark case of Grutter v. Bollinger. She practiced law with the ACLU National Legal Department and the California Women’s Law Center before joining academia.

In a Director's Message, Deo wrote:


"Students are the heart of legal education. Whether we seek to improve teaching and learning, incorporate skills-based training, or develop assessment measures, we must begin with students. Too often, however, the student perspective is missing from discussions of the future of legal education. Law school reform efforts, premised on benefiting students, are rarely made with a holistic understanding of the student experience. Broadening this understanding is one of the primary goals of LSSSE."


Throughout her academic career, Deo’s scholarship has utilized original empirical research to examine legal education, including national, longitudinal and mixed-method studies of the law student experience and the first formal empirical study of the personal and professional lives of legal academics.

“Professor Deo's scholarly record, technical skills, and record of leadership in the core values important to LSSSE make her an ideal choice to lead the organization at a critical time in its development,” Bryant Garth, Chair of the National LSSSE Advisory Board and Chancellor’s Professor of Law at UC Irvine School of Law, said.

"The past few years have yielded significant soul searching and reflection within legal education," Deo wrote. "Schools have been forced to consider their future in the context of new realities. Central to this process has been the consideration of how legal education can better serve students and prepare them for future practice." 


Articles by Aaron Taylor:

Why Student Loan Forgiveness is a Social Justice Issue

For diversity: Lets talk less about pipelines and more about why blacks are not admitted

The GRE is no diversity tool