Associate Dean for Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness
Professor of Legal Writing
Director, Center for Trial and Appellate Advocacy
St. John’s University School of Law
After clerking for a United States district judge, Dean Cunningham served as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Alexandria, Virginia, where he was in charge of juvenile delinquency prosecutions. Later, he was an Assistant District Attorney in the Appeals Bureau of the Bronx District Attorney’s Office, where he also coordinated the office’s post-adjudication insanity review cases and served as an on-call homicide duty prosecutor.
Dean Cunningham received his J.D. magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center, where he was Executive Editor of the Georgetown Law Journal, Executive Director of the Barristers’ Council, and was elected to the Order of the Coif. He graduated summa cum laude and valedictorian of John Jay College of Criminal Justice. In 2012, he received a Master Certificate in Strategic Organizational Leadership from Villanova University. He is a Certified Six Sigma Green Belt.
Trained in Six Sigma (a process improvement methodology) and statistics, Dean Cunningham has utilized these skills to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of academic and student services operations at the Law School. As Associate Dean for Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness, Dean Cunningham coordinates St. John’s efforts in assessment of student learning and institutional research. He previously served as Assistant Dean for Students, Associate Dean for Student Services, Associate Academic Dean, and Vice Dean.
Prior to joining the St. John’s faculty, Dean Cunningham was a professor at Texas Tech University and held visiting appointments at Stetson University, Texas Wesleyan University, and Brooklyn Law School. He teaches Evidence, Appellate Advocacy, Legal Writing, Criminal Law, and New York Criminal Practice. In 2012 and 2017, he received the Dean’s Teaching Award (large class).
Dean Cunningham’s scholarship includes research in criminal justice ethics, appellate practice, juvenile justice, mental health, and insurance law. He has been a frequent speaker on legal education and other topics before bar associations, law schools, and other organizations. In June 2008, he testified before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on the Constitution, on the legality of laptop searches at the international border.
Fellows of the Center for Trial and Appellate Advocacy
- Jamie Caponera ’19
- Brian Dolan ’19
- Mostafa Khairy ’19
- Anna Piszczatowski ’19
- Paul Tsenesidis ’19