Linda L. Ammons

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Linda L. Ammons
7th Dean of Widener University School of Law
In office
Personal details
Alma materOakwood (B.A.)
Ohio State (M.A.) (J.D.)

Linda L. Ammons was the seventh Dean of the Widener University School of Law. Ammons was the first woman and the first African American to lead the Widener School of Law and the longest-serving African American female dean of any law school in the United States.[1]

Legal career[edit]

Ammons served as Executive Assistant to former Ohio Governor Richard F. Celeste, from 1988 to 1991, advising him on legal and policy matters in the criminal justice, regulatory and administrative areas. She was appointed to both the Ohio Supreme Court Futures Commission, as well as to the Ohio Public Defender's Commission, on which she served two four-year terms.[2]

Ammons entered academia in 1991 when she joined the faculty of the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio. Ammons taught Administrative Law, Legislation, Mass Communications Law and Women and the Law. From 2003 to 2006, she served as the associate dean of Cleveland-Marshall. In 2006, Ammons became the seventh Dean of the Widener University School of Law.[1]


Ammons received her bachelor's degree in English from Oakwood University in 1974. She then received her master's degree in communications from The Ohio State University in 1980 and her law degree from the Moritz College of Law in 1987.[2]


Ammons left Widener with a cloud over her head following her sanction of Professor Lawrence Connell who used Ammons in his class hypotheticals. Ammons sanctioned Connell calling him a "racist" and a "sexist" and requiring him to undergo a psychological evaluation before being allowed to return to school. A hearing panel subsequently cleared Connell to return. Ammons insisted Connell complete the psychological evaluation and not return to school until the students who alerted her to his use of hypotheticals graduated. Widener accepted Ammons suggestions in their entirety. Connell subsequently sued Widener and settled with the school for an undisclosed amount in 2012. The fallout caused a major donor to resign from the Board of Overseers and caused alumni donations to dip the following year. Ammons took a sabbatical during Fall 2014 and announced she would step down at the end of the 2014 school year.

She also sparked controversy when Gov. Jack Markell tapped her to do an independent review in the child rape case of former Lewes-area pediatrician Earl Bradley. Part of her review included a suggestion of civil commitments of sexually violent predators who "cannot be successfully prosecuted." She later said she did not support the idea.

Also during her tenure as dean, eight students sued Widener, claiming the school's statistics about employment of graduates were misleading, which the school denied. The class failed to be certified in 2015 and some students have reportedly begun individual suits.


  1. ^ a b "Ammons to step down as Widener law dean". Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Linda Ammons '87 Appointed Dean of Widener University School of Law". Moritz College of Law. Retrieved August 10, 2016.

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Widener University School of Law
Succeeded by
Robyn L. Meadows