Skip to main content

Rodney O. Fong


Rodney O. Fong is an Associate Dean for Academic Achievement, Program Assessment, and Bar Preparation and Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) John Marshall Law School.
For more than thirty years, Dean Fong has designed, directed, and consulted with academic support programs at several ABA law schools. These programs guide students through their transition to law school by introducing students to lawyering and critical thinking skills, explaining the expectations of legal academia and the profession, and sharing strategies on how to be successful. He is known for his innovative approaches to developing institutional strategies to enhance student success in law school and passing the bar exam.
More recently, Dean Fong has been studying the effects of psychological barriers on student performance, such as lack of belonging, imposter syndrome, growth mindset, resilience, and stereotype threat. He has converted interventions that have helped college students into strategies to enhance law student performance. In addition to these barriers, he applies a multi-faceted and inter-sectional approach to working with students considering their life experiences, cultural background, generation, and any other factors that might affect their performance.
Recognized nationally for his academic support and educational pipeline efforts, Dean Fong has chaired the American Association of Law Schools Section on Academic Support Programs and served on the Board of Trustees of the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC). In addition, Dean Fong sat as Chair of the State Bar of California Council on Access & Fairness, was appointed to the American Bar Association Center for Racial and Ethnic Diversity and the ABA Council on Diversity in the Educational Pipeline, participated on LSAC’s Diversity and Assessment Committees, and volunteered on the Board of Directors of For People of Color, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering people of color to enter law school and become attorneys.
Immediately prior to joining UIC Law, Dean Fong was the Director of the Office of Legal Services at the State Bar of California. The office provided technical support and funding for legal services agencies, developed projects to eliminate bias in the profession, and staffed the California Commission on Access to Justice.
Dean Fong is a native of San Francisco, attended the City’s public schools, and graduated from the University of San Francisco with his B.A. and J.D. degrees.