B.A. 1984, Yale College
J.D., 1988, Yale Law School
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. She is the second Dean of Students in the history of Miami Law. Since 2011, Dean Stearns also teaches Professional Responsibility each fall and spring semester.
Dean Stearns is the Chair of the AALS Student Services Section and a member of the American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs, where she is an advocate for well-being initiatives in law schools.
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. 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).
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. 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 who attends Haverford College and Gabriel who attends Boston University.