The University of Arizona

Lawrence Ponoroff Chosen as Next Dean of UA College of Law

By Johnny Cruz, University Communications | April 2, 2009

Ponoroff has led Tulane's law school for eight years, and was involved in successfully bringing the school through the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Lawrence Ponoroff
Lawrence Ponoroff
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University of Arizona President Robert N. Shelton and Provost Meredith Hay today announced the appointment of Lawrence Ponoroff, currently dean and Mitchell Franklin Professor of Private and Commercial Law at Tulane University School of Law, as the next dean of the UA James E. Rogers College of Law.

He will succeed Toni Massaro, who will remain on the faculty after serving for 10 years as dean. His appointment is effective July 1.

Ponoroff has led Tulane's law school for eight years, and was involved in successfully bringing the school through the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He served as part of the Tulane President's Leadership Group, which coordinated the rebuilding and reopening of the university.   Prior to his appointment as law dean in 2001, he served as vice dean of the law school and professor of law at Tulane and was appointed the Mitchell Franklin Professor of Private and Commercial Law in 2000.

"The James E. Rogers School is an elite public law school that is part of a world-class University located in a highly attractive and multicultural community in which to live and work," said Ponoroff.  "Despite the difficult challenges we are all facing in today's economic environment, I am quite confident that the Rogers College of Law can continue the advances it has enjoyed over the past 10 years under the superb leadership of Toni Massaro."

Ponoroff was selected from a field that included five finalists who were invited for on-campus interviews and meetings.

"Lawrence Ponoroff is a preeminent legal scholar and innovator, and I am thrilled that he will be leading the law college at such an important time in its history," said UA Provost Meredith Hay. "The UA Rogers College of Law is recognized nationwide for its excellence in education, research and public service and Dean Ponoroff is the ideal person to take the college to new heights."

"We are proud indeed to welcome Lawrence Ponoroff as the new dean of the College of Law," said Toni Massaro, current dean of the UA Rogers College of Law. "His nationally recognized scholarship, his commitment to students and curricular innovation and his demonstrated public leadership experience all make him a perfect fit for Arizona Law."

Ponoroff joined the Tulane faculty in 1995. Prior to that, he was a member of the faculty at the University of Toledo College of Law, where he taught since 1986. From 1990-92 he served as associate dean for academic affairs at the University of Toledo. 

He also has taught as a visiting faculty member at the University of Michigan Law School and Wayne State University. In 1997, he received teaching awards at both the University of Michigan and at Tulane.

Formerly, Ponoroff was a partner with the Denver-based law firm of Holme Roberts & Owen specializing in corporate and commercial litigation. He is the author or co-author of numerous law review articles as well as four books in the areas of business and consumer bankruptcy, contracts, and commercial law.

From 1992-1994, Ponoroff served as the reporter to the Long-Range Planning Subcommittee of the Committee on the Administration of the Bankruptcy System of the Judicial Conference of the United States. 

Ponoroff is a member of the Colorado and Ohio Bars, as well as the Bar of the United States Supreme Court. He serves by appointment of the Chief Justice of the United States on the Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules to the U.S. Judicial Conference, and on the Bankruptcy Judges Education Committee of the Federal Judicial Center. 

He is also a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, fellow of the American Bar Foundation, member of the American Law Institute, chair of the ABA Committee on Graduate Legal Education and member of the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Supreme Court Historical Society. Ponoroff has previously served on the Board of Governors of the Louisiana State Bar Association, the Advisory Board of the American Bankruptcy Institute Law Review and the Board of Directors of the American Board of Certification. 

The UA James E. Rogers College of Law – the first law school in Arizona and one of the first established in the West – was founded in 1915. During the College's almost 100-year history, many of Arizona's most distinguished judges and lawyers have pursued their legal educations at the UA. Graduates hold positions of leadership in the legal, corporate and political arenas throughout the U.S. and internationally.

The college is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and has been a member of the Association of American Law Schools since 1931. The college is one of 80 law schools nationwide to have a chapter of the Order of the Coif, the prestigious national law academic honor society.