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Dear faculty, staff and students,

I am pleased to announce that Nicola “Nicky” A. Boothe has been named dean of the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law, effective June 16, pending approval by the University of Illinois System Board of Trustees.

Professor Boothe is a legal academic, experienced litigator and leader in legal education. She is a tenured professor of law at the Florida A&M University College of Law, where she has taught since 2006, and is currently serving as a visiting professor of law at the Boston University School of Law. Previously, she also served as the interim dean of the College of Law as well as the associate dean for academic affairs at Florida A&M University. Before joining the FAMU faculty, where Professor Boothe was instrumental in developing the college’s Guardian Ad Litem Clinic, she was a defense litigator for almost a decade.

A nationally recognized leader in the field of ethics and professionalism in law, Professor Boothe has served as a Fellow for the National Institute for Teaching Ethics and Professionalism and as a member of the Florida Supreme Court Special Committee on Professionalism. A member of the American Bar Association Civil Rights Litigation Committee and the Order of Barristers, Professor Boothe is a certified speaker by the Florida Department of Insurance and holds certifications for interviewing and counseling in the legal field.

A frequent speaker, panelist and commentator, Professor Boothe’s work has been honored with numerous awards, including the Silver and Bronze Pro Bono awards from the Florida Supreme Court for her participation with the Florida Juvenile Dependency System. She also has been recognized as FAMU School of Law Faculty of the Year and student-selected hooding ceremony representative of the year.

An avid scholar, her scholarship addresses issues of legal professionalism and ethics, social media and human trafficking and has been published in numerous law reviews and journals, including the Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law, Brigham Young University Journal of Public Law, Nebraska Law Review, Pace Law Review, Loyola Law Review, and American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Lawamong many other publicationsHer op-eds have appeared in local and national publications.

Professor Boothe’s work also reflects a longstanding focus on antiracism, diversity, equity and inclusion, student well-being and community service. She was a co-founder in 2020 of the Florida Law Schools’ Consortium on Racial Justice. She recently developed a “Mindfulness in Life and Law” seminar and is also a member of the Mindfulness in Law Society, in addition to being a member of a multitude of community organizations in the Orlando and Orange County areas.

Professor Boothe received her JD, cum laude, from Florida State University and her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Florida.

I am confident that Professor Boothe will continue to advance the law school’s mission of access, opportunity, academic excellence and community engagement, and I am thrilled to have her join the UIC community.

I would like to thank the search committee, co-chaired by Dr. Wayne Giles, dean of the School of Public Health, and Kathryn Kennedy, professor of law and director of the Center for Tax Law & Employee Benefits, for their excellent work throughout the interviewing and selection process. I would also like to thank and acknowledge Julie Spanbauer for her tremendous dedication in serving as interim dean.

Please join me in welcoming Nicky Boothe to UIC.


Javier Reyes
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs