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).

 Publications

Revising the ABA Standards to Ensure Minimum Competency Including Awareness of Health and Well-Being, AccessLex Raising the Bar (2021).

Conduct Yourself Accordingly: Amending Bar Character & Fitness Questions to Promote Lawyer Well-Being, with David Jaffe, ABA Professional Lawyer.

Exploring the Integration of Well-Being and Anti-Racism: Some practical lessons from the 2020-2021 School Year, AALS Student Services Section Newsletter.

Baseball and Balance: A Case Study in Advocating for Institutional Change, AALS Section on Balance Newsletter.

 Media Appearances

Other: Miami Law Explainer Podcast April 2020 Breaking Down Barriers: A discussion of state bar character and fitness evaluation and its impact on student mental health

 Presentations & Awards

Inoculating the Next Generation of Lawyers: Mandating Substance Use and Mental Health Education for Law Students (June 1, 2022)

Painful or Purposeful: Best Practices for Effective SUMH Training (September , 2021)

Revising ABA Standards to Promote Law Student Well-Being (January , 2021)

Reimagining Law: How Lawyers and Law Students Can Prioritize Well-Being in 2021 (December , 2021)

Character & Fitness: The Next Chapter (April , 2021)

Freedom of Expression at UM: A Primer for Election 2020 (September , 2020)

Substance Use and Mental Health Challenges and Resources: A Primer for Student Service Professionals (October , 2020)

The Gifts of the Pandemic (November , 2020)

Raising the Bar: Amending Bar Character and Fitness Questions to Promote Law Student Wellbeing (November , 2020)

impact of COVID-19 on Recent Law School Graduates and Rising 3Ls: Mental Health Strategies (July , 2020)

Introduction to Character & Fitness (February , 2020)

The Impact of Law Student Well-Being on Student Success and the Bar Exam (November , 2019)

Counseling the Counselors (May , 2019)

Raising the Bar: The Role of Law Student Well-Being in Passing the Bar Exam (June , 2019)

It Takes A Village: Presentations to Promote Wellness in our Law Schools (January , 2019)

The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: An Agneda for the Judiciary to Support the Next Generation of Lawyers (February , 2019)

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

Maroon, Lori

Phone: (305) 284-9208
Office: A212

Websites and Blogs

Dean of Students