University of Denver

David Yellen


Executive Assistant: Cynthia Bowling

David Yellen joined IAALS as Chief Executive Officer in June 2021.

He previously served as Dean and Professor of Law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law for 11 years, from 2005-2016. During this time, Loyola was recognized as one of the most innovative law schools in the country. Yellen was frequently included on National Jurist magazine’s list of the 25 Most Influential People in Legal Education.

Yellen is a former faculty member of Hofstra Law School, where he held the Max Schmertz Distinguished Professorship and served as Dean. He has also been the Reuschlein Distinguished Visiting Professor at Villanova University School of Law and twice served as a visiting professor at Cornell Law School.

After Loyola, Yellen served as President of Marist College from 2016-2019. At Marist he led the planning of a new medical school among other projects.

Yellen has been active in pro bono and community service work.  In addition to serving on a number of not-for-profit boards, he led an inquiry into police torture in Chicago and argued a federal sentencing case at the United States Supreme Court.

Before beginning his academic career, Yellen clerked for a federal judge, practiced law in Washington, D.C., and served as counsel to the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Additional Info 

Professional Activities and Recognition

  • American Bar Association Section of Legal Education
    • Standards Review Committee, Member 2006-2012
    • New Deans’ Workshop Planning Committee, Member 2009-2014, Chair, 2011 & 2014
    • Deans’ Midyear Workshop, Chair 2006-2007
    • Frequent chair of ABA accreditation site visits
  • American Bar Association Task Force on the Future of Legal Education, Member 2012-2014
  • Clinton Administration Transition Team. Advisor on white collar crime enforcement priorities for incoming Clinton administration, 1992-93
  • Special Master, Chicago Police Torture Cases. Appointed by Presiding Judge of Cook County Criminal Court to investigate inmate claims of torture by Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge 2014-16
  • United States Supreme Court. Briefed and argued pro bono case involving mandatory minimum sentencing statute. United States v. LaBonte, 520 U.S. 751 (1997)

Selected Publications

  • The Impact of Rankings and Rules on Legal Education Reform, 45 Connecticut L. Rev. 1389 (2013)
  • Reforming the Federal Sentencing Guidelines' Misguided Approach to Real-Offense Sentencing, 58 Stanford L. Rev. 267 (2005)
  • Federal Sentencing Law and Practice (West 2002) (with T. Hutchison, et. al)
  • Illusion, Illogic and Injustice: Real Offense Sentencing and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, 78 Minnesota. L. Rev. 403 (1993)    


  • JD, Cornell University School of Law, cum laude
    • Cornell Law Review, Special Project Editor
  • BA, Politics, Princeton University, magna cum laude