Professor of Legal Writing
St. John’s University School of Law
In his current role as Vice Dean, Dean Cunningham supervises most of the internal functions and offices of the Law School, including the Associate Academic Dean, the Assistant Dean for Students, Registrar, and the Assistant Dean for Administrative Services. Dean Cunningham is also responsible for assessment, strategic planning, accreditation compliance, personnel matters, budgetary issues involving full-time and adjunct faculty, relationships with outside agencies, service on University groups, and liaising with University offices. Dean Cunningham is a member of the University’s Strategic Priorities Review Team.
Dean Cunningham teaches Evidence, Appellate Advocacy, Criminal Procedure: Adjudication, 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, criminal procedure, appellate practice, juvenile justice, mental health law, 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.
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.
Dean Cunningham received his J.D. magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center, where he was an Executive Editor of the Georgetown Law Journal’s Criminal Procedure Project, 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 and admitted to practice law in New York, Texas, and Virginia.