David Yellen became the fourth President of Marist College on July 1, 2016. He previously served as Dean and Professor of Law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law for 11 years. Prior to his position at Loyola, he was a member of the faculty of Hofstra Law School, holding the Max Schmertz Distinguished Professorship and serving as Dean. He was also the Reuschlein Distinguished Visiting Professor at Villanova University School of Law and was a visiting professor at Cornell Law School and New York Law School.
President Yellen’s major area of academic expertise is criminal justice. He has written widely about these issues, advised President Bill Clinton’s transition team on white collar crime, and argued a federal sentencing case before the United States Supreme Court. He served as a volunteer Special Master at the request of Chicago’s chief criminal court judge, examining claims of torture against a former Chicago police commander. President Yellen also served on the Illinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Council and was a member of the Board of Directors of Cook County Justice for Children.
Under President Yellen’s leadership, Loyola Law School was recognized as one of the most innovative law schools in the country. Loyola pioneered new online degree programs for non-lawyers and transformed its part-time program to include a blended approach of weekend-based and distance learning. These innovations have served as models for law schools throughout the United States. President Yellen served on the American Bar Association’s Task Force on the Future of Legal Education and its Standards Review Committee. He chaired the New Deans workshop, the Deans’ annual meeting, and numerous accreditation site visits. He was frequently included on National Jurist magazine’s list of the 25 Most Influential People in Legal Education. President Yellen currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Commission on Independent Colleges & Universities in New York (CICU).
President Yellen earned his B.A. magna cum laude from Princeton University and his J.D. cum laude from Cornell Law School. After law school, he 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.
President Yellen’s wife, Leslie Richards-Yellen, serves as Director of Inclusion for the Americas at Hogan Lovells, a multinational law firm. The couple, who met as law students at Cornell, have three adult daughters, Jordan, Meredith, and Bailey.