Michael Scott Burns

Chief of Staff, Office of the Dean


Chief of Staff Mike Burns joined the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law staff in February 2020 as Director of the Office of Admissions & Financial Aid. He was appointed to an interim co-director position in the Office of Inclusion & Engagement 2021. In June of 2022, after a national search, he accepted the position of Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Engagement. Prior to coming to Northwestern Pritzker Law, he served as assistant dean and director of admissions at Northern Illinois University College of Law. He also served in the senior administration at DePaul University College of Law for more than 15 years. From 2003 to 2018 he served in various administrative positions, including assistant dean for enrollment management, director of law admissions and associate dean for student affairs. From 1994 to 1996, Dean Burns served as a legal writing instructor and assistant dean for law career services at DePaul Law. He also worked as assistant dean for admissions at Chicago-Kent College of Law from 1996 to 2003. While at Chicago-Kent, he also was appointed to the positions of director of academic support, director of the Prelaw Undergraduate Scholars Program, adjunct professor, and associate general counsel for the Illinois Institute of Technology.  In recent years, he has taught Professional Responsibility at DePaul University College of Law and Northern Illinois University College of Law. He is a 1992 graduate of DePaul University College of Law, where he was a member of the DePaul Law Review and served as vice president of the Student Bar Association. In 2022 he received a Certificate in Diversity & Inclusion from Cornell University.  


  • BS, Community Health, Northern Illinois University
  • JD, DePaul University

Prior Appointments

  • Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, June 2022, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

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