News - Capital University Law School

Capital University Names Rachel Janutis Dean of Law School

1/9/2017  - 

Capital University announced today the appointment of Rachel Janutis as dean of Capital University Law School, effective immediately.

Serving in the position of interim dean for nearly three years, Dean Janutis has distinguished herself as a strategic thinker and innovator, a collaborator across multiple valued stakeholder groups, and a student-centered decision-maker.

“Dean Janutis’ steady leadership has guided the Law School through a period of transformation in legal education, and positioned it for a purposeful future,” Capital University President Beth Paul said. “I am confident that with Rachel as dean, the Law School’s future path will continue to contextualize the mission in a new environment, positioning students and graduates for success, and facilitating meaningful connections that provide access to a legal education to as diverse an audience as possible, and in turn, provide greater access to justice for all people.”

Dean Janutis is a champion of extending the institution’s mission to multiple communities and articulating its value in a modern-day context. Under her leadership, the Law School has enhanced its support for student success; pioneered a career blueprint program to better position students for post-graduate success; and conducted an extensive analysis of bar passage data leading to the launch of several pilot projects aimed at early intervention for law students who struggle in their first year, and increased bar preparation.

“The Law School is an institution that is bigger than any one of us – larger than even the faculty, students and staff in the building today. It comprises alumni and friends who inhabited the building before us and those who will come after us. We have an obligation to serve as good stewards of the Law School to ensure that it is well positioned to meet the needs of the entire Law School community. Likewise, the Law School is part of larger University, legal and business communities, and so our work is to connect all those pieces together.”

Recent curricular innovations such as the 3+3 BA/JD program, collaborative learning partnerships, and re-imagined law concentrations developed during the dean’s tenure have drawn intentional and creative pathways between Capital’s undergraduate program and the Law School, complementing Capital’s focus on convergence and interdisciplinary and experiential learning. Valuing deeply the strong affinity and connection felt by law alumni and friends nationwide, Dean Janutis has fortified existing relationships and established new ones for the good of the whole university, its students and its reputation.

Under Janutis’ continued direction, the Law School’s future path will continue its razor-sharp focus on these key areas:

  • Supporting post-graduation success, especially maintaining strong bar passage and positioning students for positive employment outcomes; 
  • Purposefully linking the Law School to the University, and the legal and business communities in the Columbus region and beyond — connecting on purpose; 
  • Innovating curriculum to maximize interdisciplinary learning and broaden student understanding of the intersections between law and other disciplines and professions; and 
  • Extending the continuum of educational opportunities to meet emerging needs for access to legal education among a wide audience.

Named interim dean at the Law School in 2014, Dean Janutis is the first female dean of the Law School and has been a member of Capital's law faculty since 2002. Prior to her appointment as interim dean, she had served as the Law School’s associate dean for Academic Affairs since 2010, and previously as director of Faculty Development. She is highly regarded by students, faculty and administration for her work as both a future-focused teacher and administrator.

Dean Janutis has been a visiting faculty member at the University of Illinois and the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. Before joining the academy, Professor Janutis worked as a litigation associate in the Chicago office of Winston & Strawn. She also served as a law clerk to the late Harlington Wood Jr., Circuit Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Her teaching and research are in the areas of Civil Procedure, Remedies, Complex Litigation and Conflicts of Laws. She is the author of numerous articles. She is also the co-author of a textbook and several student guides on Remedies.