Centers and Initiatives



SMU Dedman School of Law's academic centers and initiatives provide an interdisciplinary platform for educational programming, to facilitate academic research, and to provide educational opportunities that engage students and the academic and business/legal communities.


Pam Metzger

Deason Criminal Justice Reform Center

The Deason Criminal Justice Reform Center’s independent research and its development of educational opportunities are focused on issues ranging from wrongful convictions to over-incarceration. The overarching goal of the Center is to promote the fair, ethical, and compassionate treatment of people involved in every stage of the criminal justice process.

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Jennifer M. Collins Women's Leadership Initiative

The Jennifer M. Collins Women’s Leadership Initiative aims to enhance the leadership and professional skills of women SMU Law students and practicing attorneys and address the unique challenges they may face during their education and throughout their careers. Led by Dedman Law Director of Alumni Relations Christine Leatherberry, this Initiative addresses issues such as retaining women in the legal profession, elevating women in leadership positions, and enhancing rainmaking and networking skills.

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Business Law event

Robert B. Rowling Center for Business Law & Leadership

The Robert B. Rowling Center for Business Law & Leadership focuses on developing leaders at the intersection of business and law, and influences national conversations surrounding business and corporate law. The Center benefits from the vibrant DFW business environment and faculty expertise at SMU, including at the Cox School of Business and the Lyle School of Engineering. The Center also builds upon Dedman Law’s rich tradition in business law, its remarkably successful alumni base, and the entrepreneurial spirit of Dedman Law students.

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Tsai Center panel discussion

Tsai Center for Law, Science and Innovation

The Tsai Center explores how law and policy affect scientific research and discovery as well as the development and commercialization of new technologies. The Tsai Center also explores the converse — how scientific discoveries and new technologies affect ethics, society, private industry, and governmental institutions and agencies.

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