Janet E. Stearns

Dean of Students & Lecturer in Law

B.A. 1984, Yale College
J.D., 1988, Yale Law School

Phone: (305)284-4551
Office: A212

Janet Stearns, Dean of Students and Lecturer in Law, joined the University of Miami Law School in October, 1999 as director of International and Foreign Graduate Programs. In 2007 she was appointed Dean of Students. Since 2011, Dean Stearns also regularly teaches Professional Responsibility.

In 2020, Dean Stearns and the Miami Law Student Services Team received NALSAP’s CORE Four Annual Award, recognizing the “competencies, values and ethics of the very best law student affairs professionals.” Dean Stearns is the Immediate Past Chair for the AALS Student Services Section. She is also a member of the American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs, where she is an advocate for wellness programming in law schools. Since becoming Dean of Students, Dean Stearns has been passionate about wellness initiatives, including the Fall Wellness Week, the spring Mental Health Day, and a weekly Dean of Students Constitutional (walk) around the campus. She coordinates closely with the School’s Mindfulness in Law program, and drafted the Preface to Scott Roger’s book Mindfulness for Law Students (Mindful Living Press, 2009).

At the University of Miami, she serves as Title IX Liaison, a member of the President’s Coalition the President’s Coalition on Sexual Violence Prevention and Education, a member of President’s Commission on Alcohol and Other Drugs, and a member of the UM Wellness Center Advisory Board.
A native of New York, she is a graduate of Yale College (1984) and Yale Law School (1988). She was admitted to the bar in Connecticut (1989) and Washington State (1994). Before coming to UM, Dean Stearns was a profesora visitante at the University of Chile where she taught two law courses in Spanish. She also taught in the area of affordable housing development and directed a clinical program at the University of Washington School of Law.

In her senior year at Yale College, she was elected to the New Haven Board of Aldermen where she served for two years until beginning law school. Yale Law School, she received both the C. LaRue Munson Prize for Clinical Work and the Clifford L. Porter Prize for Best Paper in Taxation. Upon her graduation from Yale Law, she practiced law for five years with Robinson & Cole, a large commercial firm in Hartford, Connecticut. Her practice areas included commercial real estate, land use, and nonprofit organizations. She was admitted to practice law in both Connecticut (1989) and Washington State (1994).

Her community activities include serving as the Advocacy Chair for the Miami Affiliate of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and volunteering with the Florida Democratic Party’s Voter Protection Team. She previously served as President of the Miami Council for International Visitors (2006-2007) and Treasurer of the Coral Reef Senior High School Lacrosse Booster.  She is a very proud mother of twin sons, Justin (a 2020 graduate of Haverford College) and Gabriel (a 2020 graduate of Boston University).


Conduct Yourself Accordingly: Amending Bar Character & Fitness Questions to Promote Lawyer Well-Being (with David Jaffe), 26 ABA Professional Lawyer, January, 2020

Two Deans Answer the Wellness Questions They Hear Most (with David Jaffe), ABA Student Lawyer, Volume 46, Issue 4, March, 2018

Preface to Mindfulness for Law Students by Scott Rogers, Mindful Living Press (2009)

Book Review, "American Law in a Global Context," American Journal of Comparative Law (2006)

"Rebuilding Afghanistan," Journal of Affordable Housing and Community Development Law (2002)

"Urban Growth: A Global Challenge," Journal of Affordable Housing and Community Development Law (1999)

"Reflections on Teaching in Chile," 48 Journal of Legal Education 110 (1998)

"The Impact of the United Nations Habitat II Conference on U.S. Housing Policy," 16 Saint Louis University Public Law Review 419 (1997)

"Learning About Transactions in a Clinical Setting: UW's Affordable Housing Development Clinic," ABA Real Property Section Legal Education Newsletter (1996)

"IRS Tax Exemptions and Affordable Housing: Old Standards for New Times," ABA Journal of Affordable Housing and Community Development Law (1993)

"The Low Income Housing Tax Credit: A Poor Solution to the Housing Crisis," 6 Yale Law and Policy Review 203 (1988)


Breaking Down Barriers to Bar Admission, Podcast, The Miami Law Explainer (April, 2020)

Impact of Law Student Well-Being on Student Success and the Bar Exam (November, 2019, AccessLex Annual Conference, Orlando, Florida)

Regulatory Strategies to Address Law Student Well-Being (October, 2019, ABA COLAP, Austin, TX)

Raising the Bar: The Role of Law Student Well-Being in Passing the Bar Exam (June, 2019, National Association of Law Student Affairs Professionals, Washington, DC)

Counseling the Counselors (May, 2019, Presentation to the 45th Annual ABA Conference on Professional Responsibility, Vancouver, Canada)

The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: An Agenda for the Judiciary to Support the Next Generation of Lawyers (February, 2019, Bolch Judicial Institute Conference,

Coral Gables, FL)

It Takes A Village: Partnerships to Promote Wellness in our Law Schools (January, 2019, AALS Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA)

Character and Fitness Investigations: Part of the Problem or the Solution? (September, 2018, COLAP National Conference, Charleston, SC)

Creating a Movement in our Law Schools to Improve Well-Being in the Profession (August, 2018, SEALS Conference, Fort Lauderdale, FL)

The ABA Task Force on Wellness and the Law School Agenda (June, 2018, National Association of Law Student Affairs Professionals, Indianapolis, IN)

911: Counseling Students Struggling with Mental Illness or Substance Abuse Issues, Panelist (April, 2018, National Association of Law Placement, Hollywood, FL)

Email, Social Media, and Online Student Interactions, Panel Moderator (January, 2018, American Association of Law Schools, San Diego, California)

Best Practices for Prevention of Sexual Assault and Violence on Campuses (August, 2017, Southeastern Association of Law Schools, Boca Raton, Florida)

Teaching Students to Report Misconduct in Law School and in the Real World: The Role of Student Service Professionals (June, 2017, NALSAP Inaugural Conference, Los Angeles, CA)

Carrots and Sticks: Approaches to the Challenges of Drugs and Alcohol in Law Students (August, 2014, SEALS Conference)


Phone: (305)284-4551
Office: A212
Faculty Assistant


Phone: (305) 284-1854
Office: A212
Faculty Assistant

Maroon, Lori

Phone: (305) 284-9208
Office: A212

Websites and Blogs

Dean of Students