Angela Felecia Epps, former dean of Florida A&M University College of Law and Marine veteran, will serve as the new dean for the UNT Dallas College of Law, the university announced.
Epps, who was offered the position following a national search, will start with UNT Dallas this summer. She will replace Judge Royal Furgeson, the college’s founding dean, who will continue working with UNT Dallas in a developmental role.
He helped establish and push the downtown Dallas law school toward accreditation.
Epps brings more than three decades of law experience to the job, including six years with the Georgia Legal Services Program, providing free legal services to low-income people.
She also has nearly 20 years of experience in higher education.
She was a professor and associate dean at the University of Arkansas Little Rock Bowen School of Law, visiting professor at the New England School of Law and University of Florida Levin College of Law and professor and dean at Florida A&M.
She will start her new role as dean this summer, where she will be part of the college's move to a new home in the former Dallas City Hall building at 106 S. Harwood St. in 2019.
Our original post from Oct. 3, 2017 announcing Furgeson's retirement
About UNT Dallas law
The young law school struggled to get accreditation; it earned provisional approval last June after getting a second chance from the American Bar Association in November 2016. The full accreditation process takes about three years, but students can still take the bar exam.
Royal Furgeson was named dean in January 2012 and started the job in June 2013 after retiring from the bench.
He spoke with KERA in 2016 when the school’s accreditation was on shaky ground. He talked about UNT Dallas’ efforts to build a different kind of law school — one that’s more affordable and targets diverse and nontraditional students.
“The state of Texas saw an opportunity to let us do something different, so they let us come. We’ve got to do something to make sure modest means people and small businesses get lawyers. And people say, ‘There are too many lawyers.’ Well, there may be too many lawyers, but they’re all kind of situated in the wrong place. We need lawyers everywhere. This is a great challenge, and we need to address it.”
Now, with initial approval from the ABA, the law school is focused on growing and moving into its new home.
More about Furgeson
Furgeson is the former Senior U.S. District Judge in the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division. Before that, he served in the El Paso, Midland and San Antonio Divisions of the Western District of Texas. He served as a federal judge for over 18 years.
He’s a native of Lubbock and graduate of Texas Tech University with a bachelor’s degree in English. He earned his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law.
After law school, he served the U.S. Army for two years. Following a tour in Vietnam, he returned to Lubbock as law clerk. He was a practicing trial lawyer for 24 years before receiving a presidential appointment to the federal bench.