Catherine Peshkin appointed Assistant Dean of the Graduate Program and International Legal Studies at Harvard Law School

Credit: Lorin Granger Catherine Pechkine

Catherine Peshkin has been appointed Assistant Dean of Harvard Law School’s Graduate Program and International Legal Studies. Director of admissions and financial aid for the graduate program since 2012, Peshkin replaces Jeanne Tai, who retired in June after 24 years at HLS.

“For nearly a decade, Catherine Peshkin has brought immense skill, insight and judgment to assemble superb classes of LL.Ms and SJDs year after year from all over the world,” said John F. Manning ‘ 85, Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and professor of law. “She will also bring considerable experience, creativity, commitment and collegiality to the graduate program in the years to come.”

Peshkin oversaw the process of admitting students regardless of their financial situation and awarding financial aid exclusively based on need, reading over 10,000 admissions applications during this time and working directly with nearly 2,000 LL.M and SJD students from an ever-widening range of nations around the world.

In addition to managing admissions, Peshkin also oversaw the growth and provision of financial aid to HLS graduate students. Today, all LL.Ms with financial need receive support according to their needs, which allows the School to enroll the best lawyers from around the world, regardless of their financial situation. For his leadership and many contributions to the school, Peshkin received the Dean’s Award of Excellence in 2018.

“Catherine brings to this leadership position a remarkable combination of deep wisdom, unwavering dedication, unrivaled experience, excellent judgment and above all else – a deep love for the graduate program,” said said Gabriella Blum LL.M ’01 SJD ’03, Associate Dean of Graduate Program and International Legal Studies and Rita E. Hauser Professor of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. “There is no one better suited for this role.”

Peshkin began her career in academic administration at Duke University School of Law, where she served as Associate Director of JD Admissions in the 1990s. She went on to obtain her JD and MBA from Duke University and completed several years practicing law in New York, first as a partner in the corporate finance and restructuring group at Weil, Gotshal & Manges, then as a partner and then partner in the corporate restructuring group by Kirkland & Ellis. Between practicing law and returning to law school administration, Peshkin spent a year leading special projects at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and 18 months trekking and traveling in Nepal, India, in Southeast Asia, New Zealand, Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom.

“What Harvard Law School offers its LL.M. and SJD students are unique and truly special – no other graduate law program offers the same combination of diversity, opportunity and support to its students, “Peshkin said.” It has been incredibly rewarding to contribute to this effort and I am honored to have the opportunity to lead the program. “

“I am delighted that Catherine Peshkin is our new Assistant Dean for the Graduate Program and International Legal Studies,” said William P. Alford ’77, former Associate Dean and now Senior Advisor to the Graduate Program and of International Legal Studies and Jerome A and Joan L. Cohen Professor of Law. “I enjoyed working with her very much – she is extremely thoughtful, deeply principled, has a wicked sense of humor and will be a worthy leader.”


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Nancy I. Romero