Larry Cunningham became the Dean of Charleston School of Law in June 2020, bringing a national reputation in legal education, assessment, and student learning to the position. As Dean, he serves as the chief academic and executive officer of the school, leading the academic, student support, and operational units of the Law School with the singular goal of promoting student success.
Dean Cunningham joined Charleston School of Law from St. John’s University School of Law, where he was a professor from 2008 to 2020 and served in several administrative posts, including Dean of Students, Associate Dean for Academics, Vice Dean, and the first Associate Dean for Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness. He received several teaching and service awards, including the University’s Outstanding Achievement Medal.
As a professor, Dean Cunningham combines a mix of teaching styles, technology, assessments, and “flipped classroom” techniques to promote active learning. At Charleston School of Law, he teaches Evidence, a required course, where he draws on his experience in the courtroom. After clerking for a United States district judge, Dean Cunningham served as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Alexandria, Virginia, where he was in charge of juvenile delinquency prosecutions and tried numerous cases to verdict. Later, he was an Assistant District Attorney in the Appeals Bureau of the Bronx District Attorney’s Office, where he also coordinated the office’s post-adjudication insanity review cases and served as an on-call homicide duty prosecutor.
Dean Cunningham’s scholarship includes research in higher education, criminal justice ethics, criminal procedure, appellate practice, juvenile justice, mental health law, and insurance law. He has been a frequent speaker on legal education and other topics before bar associations, law schools, and other organizations. His blog, Law School Assessment, examines programmatic and classroom assessment in legal education, a topic that he speaks regularly on at national organizations and law schools.
In June 2008, he testified before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on the Constitution, on the legality of laptop searches at the international border. In 2016, Dean Cunningham was awarded a grant from the U.S. Fulbright Specialist Program to teach at the Royal University of Law and Economics in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Dean Cunningham received his J.D. magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center, where he was an Executive Editor of the Georgetown Law Journal’s Criminal Procedure Project, Executive Director of the Barristers’ Council, and was elected to the Order of the Coif. He graduated summa cum laude and valedictorian of John Jay College of Criminal Justice. In 2012, he received a Master Certificate in Strategic Organizational Leadership from Villanova University. He is a certified Six Sigma Green Belt (a process improvement methodology) and admitted to practice law in New York, Texas, and Virginia. He completed a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Assessment and Institutional Research from Sam Houston State University in 2019.
Dean Cunningham is married to Jonnathan Kessler. They live in Charleston with their puggle, Lexi.