Deidre A. Keller, Dean Of FAMU College Of Law In Orlando, Moving The University Forward

Dean Deidra A. Keller

ORLANDO – Deidré A. Keller is the dean of the Florida A&M University (FAMU Law) College of Law in Orlando. Her tenure began on July 1, 2020. Prior to joining FAMU Law, Keller was the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Ohio Northern University Claude W. Pettit College of Law. Dean Keller began her academic career at ONU as an Assistant Professor in 2010. While there she taught Property, Intellectual Property, Law & Literature, and the Legal History of Montgomery, Alabama, among other property, intellectual property, and academic success courses.

For three years Keller taught undergraduates in ONU’s PLUS program, which was aimed at preparing students underrepresented in the profession for law school. Keller was also the co-Chair of the ONU’s inaugural Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Commission. Her work in the DEI space also included organizing conferences with colleagues from across the academy, including, MOSAIC: Diverse Voices in Intellectual Property, an annual conference which recently had its eighth annual meeting; and RACE + IP, a semiannual, interdisciplinary conference, the fourth meeting of will take place at University of Pittsburgh School of Law in April 2023.

Dean Keller writes and speaks at the intersections of pedagogy, intellectual property, personhood theory, critical race theory, and the Constitution. Her current work is focused on inclusive pedagogies and diversifying the legal profession. She is also active in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in the community. In that capacity, she has served on the DEI taskforce of the Orlando Economic Partnership. Dean Keller also serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the Parramore Community Engagement Council.

Since joining FAMU Law, Dean Keller has amassed several major administrative accomplishments, including the following:

  • Doubled donor contributions to the College year over year.
  • Supported successful student effort to rename the street where the College is located “FAMU Law Lane.”
  • Improved the College’s relationships with key constituencies including students, alumni, the University, and the Orlando business and legal communities by hosting lunches with community leaders, semi-monthly student townhalls, monthly alumni townhalls, and, along with the College’s Community Engagement team, planning and executing 20 events to celebrate the College of Law’s 20th Anniversary, as well as interfacing regularly with the University’s Board of Trustees and the Board of Governors.
  • Advanced the College’s priority of ensuring student success by working with the faculty and staff to hire more full-time faculty to meet needs in the core curriculum with an emphasis on skills instruction and to increase the credentials of the incoming cohort year-over-year median LSAT and median GPA, while maintaining the College’s commitment to its legislative mandate and mission of diversifying the legal profession.

Dean Keller has also been recognized for her community impact, academic prowess, and media expertise, having been honored as an Onyx Magazine Woman on the Move in 2021 and as a Telly Silver Award recipient for The Legal Ramifications of the Ocoee Massacre, a Legal Connections television program that aired on Orange TV in 2020. Keller is a regular guest on the public access television program produced by the law school and Orange TV.

Among her other many presentations and media appearances are the following:

  • What Do Lawyers Owe Democracy, Kormendy Endowed Lecture, Ohio Northern University, March 10, 2023
  • Closing Keynote, The American Dream is for Everyone, FAMU Law Review Symposium, February 24, 2023
  • Fireside Chat, A Discussion on HBCU Law Schools, the ABA & the Importance of Networking, February 23, 2023
  • Guest Speaker, Orange County Bar Association, February 23, 2023
  • Invited Guest Speaker, Attorney Benjamin F. Lampkin Jr., FAMU NAA Broward County Chapter Scholarship Luncheon, February 18, 2023
  • Panelist, The Erosion of Human Rights: From the Holocaust to the Present, July 2022, featured in the Orlando Sentinel article, “Could Our Rights be Slipping Away?,” August 5, 2022
  • Interviewer, Copyright for Churches, Orange TV, July 2022
  • Quoted, HBCU Law Schools Face Severe Underfunding: ‘Do We Have a Belt’ Left to Tighten?,, June 2022
  • Panelist, Working Together with Higher Education, CCIM Central Florida, June 2022
  • Panelist, INVEST: Orlando for All: Leveraging a growing economy to enhance equity, June 2022
  • Florida Bar Association Young Lawyers’ Division Law School Deans Summit, June 2022
  • Panelist, Best Law Schools for Diversity, Prelaw Symposium, March 2022
  • Panelist, Inaugural HBCU Law School Showcase, February 2022
  • Interview, Emmett Till, Legal Connections, recorded February 2022
  • Quoted, Liann Herder, A Black Woman on the Bench, “Long Overdue,” Diverse Issues in Higher Education, February 2022

Prior to teaching, Keller practiced law in Atlanta, Georgia, with the firms of Sutherland, Asbill and Brennan, LLP and Seyfarth Shaw, LLP. She specialized in intellectual property. Her experience included patent, copyright, and trademark litigation, procurement, and counseling.

Keller earned her B.A. in English and Sociology from Yale College and her JD from Emory University College of Law. She and her husband have six children.