About President Yellen

David N. Yellen

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 law, particularly sentencing and juvenile 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. Outside of academia, he was appointed Special Master by Cook County Criminal Division Presiding Judge Paul P. Biebel Jr., working to identify inmates who may be entitled to new trials after having suffered torture by 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.

Throughout his career, President Yellen has been very involved in legal education leadership and reform efforts. He served for six years on the Standards Review Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section on Legal Education. He chaired the New Deans workshop and the Deans’ Midyear meeting. He also chaired numerous accreditation site visits and served on the ABA’s Task Force on the Future of Legal Education. In 2015, President Yellen was listed at #7 on National Jurist magazine’s list of the 25 Most Influential People in Legal Education.

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. He is a member of the Illinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Council, the Board of Directors of the Constitutional Rights Foundation of Chicago, and is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

President Yellen’s wife, Leslie Richards-Yellen, serves as Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer and Partner at the law firm of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in New York City. The couple, who met as law students at Cornell, have three adult daughters, Jordan, Meredith, and Bailey.

View the Presidential Announcement