Distinguished Alumna Andrea D. Lyon, LC’73, Dean of Law School in Indiana, Is an Expert in Death-Penalty Defense

Andrea Lyon, 2006Valparaiso University in Indiana tapped Rutgers alumna Andrea D. Lyon to lead its law school as dean starting in June 2014, underscoring the growing importance of hands-on training in legal education.

Lyon, a capital defense attorney and academic clinician, is a 1973 graduate of Rutgers University’s Livingston College and a 2006 recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award given by the Livingston Alumni Association (LAA). Read more about Lyon in a November 20, 2013, profile from The Indiana Lawyer.

Here’s how the LAA saluted Lyon in 2006: “In his widely publicized speech in 2003 pardoning several innocent death row prisoners and commuting all death sentences to life imprisonment, then-Governor James Ryan of Illinois singled out for praise DePaul University Law Professor Andrea Lyon, who has spent her career trying capital cases. According to Ryan, Lyon and her students at the Death Penalty Legal Clinic saved the life of inmate Madison Hobley. Lyon is a Clinical Associate Professor of Law and Director, Center for Justice in Capital Cases at DePaul University College of Law. She is a nationally recognized expert in the field of death penalty defense and is a frequent speaker on the topic at legal education conferences around the United States.” 

In 2016, Lyon spoke with The New York Times about Valparaiso University’s challenges in a changing market for law school education.

And in 2023, Lucille Lo Sapio interviewed Lyon for episode 47 of Lo Sapio’s podcast, “Not So Famous in NJ – Coffee Talk and Candid Conversations.” Andrea Lyon, Rutgers alumna and former Deputy Public Defender in Chicago, talks to Lo Sapio about defending guilty people, proving the innocence of death row inmates and helping convince former Illinois Governor Ryan to abolish the death penalty while exonerating her death row client. Listen to the podcast.

Watch a short (1:17) video saluting Lyon in 2006 (above), or open the video in a new window.

Pictured: Andrea Lyon at the 2006 Livingston College Distinguished Alumni Awards.