David F. Levi, former Chief U.S. District Judge of the Eastern District of California, became the 14th dean of Duke Law School on July 1, 2007.
Levi holds an A.B. magna cum laude and a master's degree in history from Harvard College. He earned his J.D. from Stanford Law School, where he graduated Order of the Coif and was president of the Stanford Law Review. Following graduation, he was a law clerk to Judge Ben C. Duniway of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and to Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr., of the U.S. Supreme Court. He was appointed United States Attorney by President Ronald Reagan in 1986 and a United States district judge by President George H. W. Bush in 1990.
Long recognized as a leader in legal reform, Levi has served, by appointment of the Chief Justice, as chair of two Judicial Conference committees: the Civil Rules Advisory Committee and the Standing Committee on the Rules of Practice and Procedure, for which he is now serving a term as a member. He was president of the Ninth Circuit District Judges Association and chair of the Ninth Circuit Task Force on Race, Religious and Ethnic Fairness. He is a member of the Council of the American Law Institute and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Levi's current scholarship and teaching focuses on judicial behavior and ethics. As dean, he has expanded opportunities for Duke Law students to develop lawyering skills and to prepare for leadership roles in the legal profession and beyond.