Dean Andrea D. Lyon and Associate Dean David R. Cleveland

Valparaiso University Law School is pleased to announce that Associate Dean for Academic Affairs David R. Cleveland was recently named the Distinguished Faculty Award recipient.

The Distinguished Faculty Award is given in memory of the late Professor Jack A. Hiller, and recognizes outstanding teaching, scholarship, and service to the Law School. The award is provided by the Mabel Burchard Fischer Grant Foundation Trust.

Currently the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Dean Cleveland is a classically-trained educator, an experienced litigator, and an accomplished scholar. He teaches professional ethics and legal writing courses, and his scholarship is primarily in the field of federal court practice and reform. Dean Cleveland is a devoted advisor to students, often serving as academic advisor and as a supervising professor for independent scholarly research. He recently completed a nine-year stint as faculty advisor for International Moot Court Society/Jessup.

“I am deeply moved by this recognition, and it is my honor to be a part of the 138-year history of Valparaiso University Law School, which has included creative, dynamic individuals like Professor Jack A. Hiller,” Dean Cleveland said.

Prior to joining Valparaiso University Law School, Dean Cleveland was a full Professor of Law at Nova Southeastern University, where he taught Legal Writing, Professional Responsibility, and  variety of Masters of Law courses. Dean Cleveland also developed the nation’s only J.D. course specifically on internet gaming law. Before entering academia, Dean Cleveland practiced general litigation with Miller Johnson in Grand Rapids, Michigan. There, he handled a variety of matters including complex commercial litigation, bankruptcy litigation, personal injury, white-collar criminal defense, and employment discrimination matters. He is a member of the Michigan, Western District of Michigan, and Sixth Circuit Bars. He is also admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court.

Dean Cleveland is a national authority on federal court reform and policy. His work on the federal court practice of issuing unpublished opinions is extensive and well-regarded, and he has written for, or been quoted in, The New York Times, the ABA Journal, and the Daily Journal. He has also written about legal ethics, federal sexual harassment law, and the history of legal writing instruction in American legal education.

Dean Cleveland is a leader in the national legal writing community and an active member in both the Legal Writing Institute (LWI) and the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) He serves on the ALWD Board of Directors and is a recent past-chair of both its Conference Committee and Scholarship Committee. Dean Cleveland is a frequent presenter on legal writing, professional ethics, and court reform issues.



Founded in 1879, Valparaiso University Law School is the 38th oldest American Bar Association (ABA) accredited law school in the United States. A Midwestern school committed to diversity and service, Valparaiso University Law School attracts students and faculty with broadly different backgrounds and perspectives. They are natural leaders who are called to the law to help people and serve society as a whole. Valparaiso Law established its legal clinic in 1967, and was among the first law schools to serve the public through legal clinics that provide low-cost or no-cost representation by licensed law students. This commitment to practical education is reflected in an innovative new curriculum, introduced in 2013, that supports a broad range of career options within the legal profession.