Donald J. Polden

Dean Emeritus, Professor of Law, and Director of the Center for Global Law and Policy

Professor Polden served as Dean of Santa Clara University School of Law from 2003 to 2013.  In addition to his service as dean, he is a well-known scholar in the areas of employment law and legal education and has practiced law, principally in the areas of federal antitrust law and employment law, in the federal and state courts.  Professor Polden has participated in antitrust cases in the Fifth, Seventh, Eighth, Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court, and has argued cases involving claims of price-fixing, monopolization, and attempts to monopolize before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is co-author (with U.S. District Court Judge Mark Bennett) of Employment Relationships: Law and Practice, published by Aspen Publishing Company. He also is the author of several law review articles on topics of federal antitrust and securities law and legal education. His 1989 article on standing to sue in private antitrust litigation was cited by the United States Supreme Court.

Previously to being appointed as Santa Clara Law’s Dean, Polden served as Dean and Professor of Law at the University of Memphis (1993-2003) where he taught courses in corporate law, antitrust law, federal securities regulation and employment law. In addition, he served as Associate Dean (1991-1993) and Professor of Law (1976-1993) at Drake University School of Law.

At Santa Clara University School of Law, Dean Emeritus and Professor Polden was instrumental in developing the curriculum for leadership education, a movement that is growing in significance in American legal education. He also served as chair from 2009 to 2012 of the American Bar Association’s Standards Review Committee that is charged with revising the accreditation policies for American legal education.  He was elected to membership in the American Law Institute in 1992, selected for membership in the College of Law and Employment Lawyers and serves on the Advisory Board of the Institute of Sports Law and Ethics at Santa Clara Universtiy.  In 2013-14, Professor Polden will serve as a Visiting Legal Scholar at the Center for Creative Leadership.


J.D., cum laude, Indiana University School of Law, Indianapolis, 1975

B.B.A., George Washington University, 1970

Areas of Specialization

Corporations Law, Employment Law, Antitrust Law, Securities Regulation

Other Links

Currently Teaching

Sports Law Seminar: The Agent's Perspective Fall 2016
Leadership for Lawyers Fall 2016
Antitrust Fall 2016