Dean Cunningham has served in a variety of roles in the Law School administration: Assistant Dean for Students, Associate Dean for Student Services, and, most recently, Associate Academic Dean. As Associate Academic Dean, he is responsible for curricular and grading matters, and supervises the offices of Student Services, Career Development, the Externship Program, and Communications.
In 2011, Dean Cunningham led a strategic repositioning and reorganization of the Law School's career development efforts that is providing more direct career counseling services to students, integrating career preparation and career development throughout the faculty and curriculum, and reconceptualizing the role of externships in helping students pursue a rewarding path to the profession.
Trained in Six Sigma (a process improvement methodology) and statistics, Dean Cunningham has utilized these skills to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of academic and student services operations.
Prior to joining the St. John's faculty, Dean Cunningham was a professor at Texas Tech University and held visiting appointments at Stetson University, Texas Wesleyan University, and Brooklyn Law School. He teaches Legal Writing, Criminal Law, and New York Criminal Practice. In 2012, he received the Dean's Teaching Award (large class). He combines a mix of teaching styles to promote active learning and utilizes technology, such as Prezi, to further students' learning. Dean Cunningham's scholarship includes research in criminal justice ethics, appellate practice, juvenile justice, mental health, and insurance law. He has been a frequent speaker on legal education and other topics before bar associations, law schools, and other organizations. In June 2008, he testified before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on the Constitution, on the legality of laptop searches at the international border.
After clerking for a United States district judge, Dean Cunningham served as an Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney in Alexandria, Virginia, where he was in charge of juvenile delinquency prosecutions. Later, he was an Assistant District Attorney in the Appeals Bureau of the Bronx District Attorney's Office, where he also coordinated the office's post-adjudication insanity review cases and served as an on-call homicide duty prosecutor.
Dean Cunningham received his J.D. magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center, where he was Executive Editor of the Georgetown Law Journal, Executive Director of the Barristers' Council, and was elected to the Order of the Coif. He graduated summa cum laude and valedictorian of John Jay College of Criminal Justice. In 2012, he received a Master Certificate in Strategic Organizational Leadership from Villanova University. He is a Certified Six Sigma Green Belt.