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About Camille Nelson

Camille Nelson has long been an outstanding member of the law community before her recent appointment as Dean of the Washington College of Law. She has previously served as the Dean of Suffolk University's School of Law in Boston and was a Professor of Law at Hofstra Law School, where she taught courses in Comparative Criminal Law and Transnational Law. Dean Nelson was also a Dean's Scholar in Residence and visiting Professor of Law at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, where she taught courses in Contracts and Criminal Law.
Dean Nelson began her education at the University of Toronto, and then went on to the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law to receive her law degree. She then completed a Master of Laws from Columbia Law School in New York.
Dean Nelson has worked to augment discussions of equality and justice in academic areas of culture and race through publishing many revered, well-known articles in a variety of academic journals. These publications based in comparative and criminal law have appeared in a variety of publications such as the Journal of Politics and Law, the Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law, and the Yale Journal of Law & Feminism. These works, her academic positions, and a multitude of speeches have been recognized through a variety of awards and honors. At her time at Suffolk University Law School, Dean Nelson was awarded the Trailblazer award by the Black Law Students' Association "In honor of your unwavering commitment to create new paths, and to lead others through the legal profession," the Malcolm Donahue Award, and the law school’s annual diversity award has been named "The Dean Camille A. Nelson Award" in honor of her work. In 2013, Dean Nelson was honored as one of the "Top Women of Law" by Lawyers Weekly, and was named to the Power 100 most influential Black attorneys by On Being a Black Lawyer from 2012-2015.  She has also received the Ida B. Wells Award in 2011 by the Massachusetts Black Women Lawyers, and achieved a Faculty Excellence Award during her time at Washington University in St. Louis.
In addition to her academic writings and teaching, Dean Nelson has and currently sits on a variety of different committees. She currently is appointed as a member of the Overseers' Committee to Visit the Harvard Law School, The Partnership (Next Generation Executive and C-Suite Program), Demography is Not Destiny Advisory Group of the Open Society Foundation, and the Nominating Committee for the Association of American Law Schools. She also currently serves on the advisory board for Mina’s List, an organization that "seeks to realize women's equal and substantive representation in national governments around the world." Dean Nelson has previously been appointed to the Senator Warren and Senator Markey Advisory Committee on Massachusetts Judicial Nominations (2013-2015), served as a Steering Committee Member of the AALS Deans Forum (2014 – June 2015) and was a Boston Bar Association (BBA) Board Member (2012-2014).


July 2016 - Present Dean, American University Washington College of Law
September 2010 - June 2015 Dean and Professor of Law, Suffolk University Law School
2007 - 2015 Visiting Professor of Law, University of Hawaii ‐ William S. Richardson School of Law
September 2009 - August 2010 Professor of Law, Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University
2008 - 2009 Professor of Law, Washington University in St. Louis ‐ School of Law
February 2006 - March 2006 Visiting Professor, Université de Paris-Dauphine
2006 Adjunct Visiting Professor, Seattle University ‐ School of Law

Curriculum Vitae



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Honors and Awards

  • Recipient of the Malcolm Donahue Award, Suffolk Law Student Bar Association (SBA) (2015)
  • Suffolk University Law School SBA Diversity Committee, named annual Diversity Award “The Dean Camille A. Nelson Award” (2015)
  • Recipient of the Harry H. Dow Memorial Legal Assistance Fund, Special Appreciation Award (“For fostering in students and community a lifetime commitment to justice and compassion in service to those who are often underserved.”) (Dec. 2014)
  • Recipient of the Trailblazer Award, Suffolk University Law School, Black Law Students’ Association (“In honor of your unwavering commitment to create new paths, and to lead others through the legal profession”) (April 2014).
  • Honored as one of the "Top Women of Law" by Lawyers Weekly (2013)
  • Named by On Being a Black Lawyer to the Power 100, most influential Black attorneys (2012-2015)
  • Recipient of the Ida B. Wells award, Massachusetts Black Women Lawyers (2011)
  • Phi Delta Phi, Rehnquist Inn, Honorary Member (2010)


1998 - 2000 LL.M., Columbia Law School ‐ Associate-in-Law Program
1991 - 1994 LL.B., University of Ottawa Faculty of Law
1987 - 1991 Bachelor of Arts, With High Distinction, University of Toronto ‐ Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Articles (14)

Book Chapters (5)

Editorial Contributions (1)

Essays (1)