Barton, who begins as dean on Monday, July 1, currently serves as associate dean for academic affairs at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. In that role, she oversees the academic program and has successfully launched numerous initiatives on leadership development, including a student Lawyers as Leaders program and a new course, Leadership and Management Skills for Lawyers.
"We're thrilled to have this talented academician taking over the leadership of our law school," said President Ken Gormley. "April Barton brings a vast amount of experience from a highly ranked, national Catholic institution to her new position as the 13th dean of Duquesne law school. Her commitment to training highly successful, highly ethical lawyers for a new era of legal practice, along with her energy and commitment to the mission of Duquesne, make her the ideal selection for this important position as the law school continues to rise to higher levels of excellence."
At Villanova, Barton teaches a course on administrative agency rulemaking and also has taught classes on computer law, the First Amendment and regulation in cyberspace and digital law. She previously served as director of the University's JD/MBA and JD/MPA joint degree programs as well as director of academic compliance and distance learning. Barton also served as assistant dean for academic computing and was the faculty director of the Global Democracy Project.
"I feel deeply privileged to have been chosen for this honor and see in Duquesne a law school with a great deal of upward momentum," Barton said. "In addition to an excellent academic program that prepares graduates to succeed in the practice of law, Duquesne's Spiritan mission emphasizes values, ethics, sustainability, globalism, education as a path to empowerment, service to the poor, justice and a commitment to embracing individuals of all faiths and backgrounds. This mission speaks directly to this generation of law students and places Duquesne law school in an extraordinarily favorable position for the future."
In addition to authoring Best Practices for Building a High-Tech Law School: The Process of Designing Educational Spaces published by the ABA's Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, Barton's work has been published in the Washington University Law Review, and the Minnesota Journal of Law, Science and Technology. She has presented and moderated discussions on innovations in law school teaching, law school distance learning, technology and classrooms of the future at Harvard Law School, New York Law School, the Gruter Institute, Carnegie Mellon University and the National Association of Attorneys General and Appellate Chiefs, among others. Barton also has testified before the U.S. Congressional Commission on Online Child Protection and the European Commission for Democracy through Law, Venice Commission, in Brussels.
Barton also served as an attorney with the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection in the Division of Marketing Practices, where she worked on policy and law enforcement issues related to internet fraud and deception.
"We are delighted to welcome April Barton to the Duquesne University community," said Provost David Dausey. "She brings a wealth of talent and experience to the law school that will benefit our faculty and students alike. We are grateful to Judge Jeffery Deller and the search committee for putting together such a rich pool of incredibly talented and qualified candidates and for their steadfast efforts to find a dean so closely aligned with the needs of the University."
Barton earned a J.D. from Villanova University, where she received the Herman Mitchell Schwartz Award, and a Bachelor of Science (cum laude) in physics from Moravian College. Barton is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar and the American Bar Association.