College of Law Leadership


The College of Law is led by Dean Nicholas W. Allard. The leadership team oversees key areas, including strategic planning, academic affairs, student and faculty development. They guide the day-to-day operations that fulfill the College's mission of providing quality legal education.

Margaret DeesNicholas W. Allard



Dean “Nick” Allard joined JU as the Founding Dean of the College of Law. He previously served as Dean of Brooklyn Law School (2012 - 2018) where he also concurrently served as President (2014-2018 and Professor of Law (2012-2020).  He is a distinguished attorney, having held leadership positions in some of the most highly regarded firms in the world. Most recently, Dean Allard has been Senior Counsel based in the Washington, D.C., office of Dentons US LLP, counseling clients in the fields of privacy, telecommunications, advanced broadband networked communications, technology, health, energy, environmental law, compliance and higher education. He has been a member of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Government Affairs and chairs its Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress. Dean Allard holds prominent volunteer leadership positions at Princeton University, Oxford University, the Rhodes Scholarship Trust, Cambridge University, Catholic University of America, and as a long time Trustee of the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. He received his JD from Yale Law School and holds a BA from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs. He is a Rhodes Scholar and holds an MA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University. Dean Allard’s legal education continued during clerkships with the late U.S. Chief District Judge Robert F. Peckham (N.D. CA) and the late U.S. Appellate Judge Patricia M. Wald (D.C. Cir.).

Margaret DeesMargaret Dees
Vice Dean

J.D., University of Florida
B.M., Jacksonville University

Telephone number  Office Phone: (904) 256-7885
Email address  Email:


Margaret Dees, Esq. is a Jacksonville University alumna and has served the university as a member of the Board of Trustees and in key senior leadership positions. Dees serves as Vice Dean, overseeing business operations, accreditation, legal community, and governmental relations for the College of Law. She additionally serves as the lead on external relations for the University. Previously, Dees served as Senior Vice President of Economic Development & External Engagement where she managed Jacksonville University’s external relationships with state and local government and acted as liaison to both public and private economic investment entities, community grant-making agencies, and institutes. In an earlier role, Dean Dees served as head of Enrollment Management & Communications for the University, overseeing admissions, financial aid, international recruitment, and marketing & communications. Dees served as Director of Institutional Advancement for Florida Coastal School of Law before returning to her alma mater to serve under President Tim Cost. Dean Dees began her career in law with nearly ten years at Holland & Knight, LLP, practicing in employment, higher education, government relations, and litigation. In her community, she has served on numerous boards and initiatives, including the Jacksonville University Board of Trustees. Dean Dees is a member of Leadership Jacksonville Class of 2007 and a past recipient of the Jacksonville Business Journal Women of Influence Award. She received a JD from the University of Florida and a bachelor's degree in music from Jacksonville University.

Dr. Courtney BarclayCourtney A. Barclay, APR
Interim Associate Dean of Academic and Faculty Affairs
Associate Professor of Communication and Law

Ph.D., University of Florida
J.D., University of Florida

Telephone number  Office Phone: (904) 256-7114
Email address  Email:


Courtney Barclay has nearly 15 years of experience in higher education. Dean Barclay joined the faculty at JU as professor in the Department of Communication, specializing in public relations and media law. With an interdisciplinary focus, she holds a joint faculty appointment in Communication and Law. Her research analyzes First Amendment implications of law and policy impacting the emerging uses of technology and new media platforms, including chat bots, online data tracking, drones, and social media. She has presented this research at national and international conferences, and is the author of "Commercial Speech in a Social Space," a chapter in the forthcoming third edition of Social Media and the Law. Dean Barclay also holds a national Accreditation in Public Relations and served on the 2020-2022 state board of directors for the Florida Public Relations Association. Before joining the faculty at JU, Dean Barclay taught media law at Syracuse University and, in 2009, served as a Visiting Scholar at the Electronic Privacy Information Center, mentoring summer law clerks and directing a modernization of the organization's tracking of Freedom of Information requests, appeals, and litigation. Dean Barclay earned a joint PhD/JD at the University in Florida from the College of Law and the College of Journalism and Communication.

Kathleen Griggs, J.D.Kathleen Griggs
Assistant Dean of Student Development and Practice

J.D., Florida State University
B.S., University of Florida

Telephone number  Office Phone: (904) 256-7452
Email address  Email:

Katie Griggs, Esq. serves as the Assistant Dean of Student Development & Practice. Dean Griggs received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Florida and her Juris Doctor from Florida State University College of Law. Her prior experience includes serving as a prosecutor, corporate contract negotiator, and higher education professional. Prior to joining Jacksonville University, Dean Griggs worked at two legal higher education institutions in the areas of academic success, bar preparation, experiential learning, and career services. 

Professional Staff

Missy DavenportMissy Davenport
Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions –
College of Law

J.D., Florida Coastal School of Law
B.S., Jacksonville University

Telephone number  Office Phone: (904) 256-7169
Email address  Email:

Missy Davenport, Esq. is a Florida licensed attorney with many years of experience in higher education administration, academic success programming, and bar exam preparation. She is a proud Dolphin with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Jacksonville University and a Juris Doctor degree from Florida Coastal School of Law.  Before joining the Jacksonville University College of Law, Ms. Davenport was the Pro Bono Director at Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, served as a prosecutor in the 4th Judicial Circuit, practiced family law, and was the Director of Academic Success and Bar Preparation at Florida Coastal School of Law.

Colleen SkinnerColleen M. Skinner
Law Librarian and Assistant Professor of Law

J.D., Florida Coastal School of Law
M.L.I.S., Florida State University

Email address  Email:


Colleen Skinner has been a law librarian since 2008. In that role, she has provided research support in many areas, including immigration and externship clinics, foreign and international law, and being an embedded Librarian for administration and faculty research needs. She also has extensive research skills in Westlaw, Lexis Nexis and teaching research workshops. Ms. Skinner enjoys sharing her skills with students and helping them become expert researchers. She earned her B.A. in Criminology from Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon, her Masters of Information Science from Florida State University and her Juris Doctorate from Florida Coastal School of Law. 

Operations Team

A highly qualified team of lawyers and legal educators led the launch of the Jacksonville University College of Law. These experts managed the day-to-day operations and developed the College's vision and academic mission during the initial development stages.