Zak Kramer, Dean & Professor of Law
A longtime administrator and legal scholar with a leadership philosophy described as “collaborative, inclusive and driven to give students the best possible legal education,” Zak Kramer serves as the fourth dean of Elon University School of Law, using his commitment to innovation and experiential learning to further elevate Elon Law’s national reputation as a leader in American legal education.
Leadership Experience & Legal Scholarship
Prior to joining the Elon Law administration, Kramer served Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law for more than a decade in several leadership roles: twice as interim dean, and at various points as executive associate dean, associate dean of faculty, and associate dean for intellectual life.
At the same time, Kramer has been a prolific scholar, regularly authoring articles on civil rights law in a number of leading law reviews and presenting on the same topics at conferences and symposia across the United States. He has mentored students and colleagues alike as an advisor to student organizations and a member of multiple college committees and working groups.
An Experienced Teacher & Mentor
After earning a Bachelor of Arts with distinction from the University of Wisconsin, Kramer attended the University of Illinois College of Law where he served as the editor-in-chief of the University of Illinois Law Review before graduating magna cum laude. Kramer began his academic career as the inaugural Charles R. Williams teaching Fellow at UCLA School of Law. He then taught at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law and Penn State Law, before joining the faculty at Arizona State in 2010.
In Their Own Words
“Zak’s record of entrepreneurial leadership at a time of unprecedented change in legal education will benefit Elon Law students, faculty, administrators, and alumni. He is known for his creative problem-solving and ability to bring people together to advance law and justice. His appointment is an extraordinary fit and we are eager to see the next exciting chapter in Elon’s promising future.” – Kellye Y. Testy, President & CEO, Law School Admission Council (LSAC)
“Zak Kramer is a visionary, creative and innovative leader who is steadfastly devoted to ensuring that the legal profession moves ever closer to the promise of access to justice for all. His commitment to equity and inclusion in legal education and in our justice system is both palpable and inspiring. Elon Law will be in terrific hands with Zak as dean.” – Patricia Lee Refo, Past President, American Bar Association
“Since its inception two decades ago, the School of Law at Elon University has aspired to become a law school with a difference. In its fresh thinking about curriculum, its emphasis upon experiential learning, its commitment to justice and equality and its stress upon leadership development, Elon Law has come a long way in building strong foundations. Now the School of Law has reached out to recruit a highly respected, innovative member of the legal academy to lift it to a whole new level. Every member of the Elon Law community who interviewed him came away impressed and enthusiastic, and I can already see how members of the Elon Law Advisory Board are eager to work with Zak Kramer in the years ahead.” – David Gergen, chair of the Elon Law Advisory Board and a former advisor to four United States presidents, a professor of public service and founding director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School