In 2013, Dean Jim Letten assumed the position of Assistant Dean for Experiential Learning. In this role Dean Letten will oversee Tulane Law School’s Intersession program, Externships, Moot Court, Trial Advocacy and Clinics. Prior to stepping down in December 2012, he had been the longest-serving U.S. Attorney in the nation and was one of only three United States Attorneys in the country appointed to the position by successive presidents from different parties. After serving as interim U.S. Attorney, Dean Letten was first nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the full U.S. Senate, and later asked to retain the position by President Barack Obama. In all, he spent more than 11 ½ continuous years as U.S. Attorney.
As United States Attorney, Dean Letten served on the Attorney General's Advisory Committee, chaired the Attorney General's Subcommittee on Violent and Organized Crime and co-chaired the Attorney General's policy review panel on capital punishment. He served on the Attorney General's Subcommittees on Terrorism and National Security and Environmental Issues, and also served as the Director of the National Center for Disaster Fraud.
Before being appointed U.S. Attorney, Dean Letten had been the First Assistant U.S. Attorney in the office for nearly seven years and served as lead counsel in the investigation and four-month trial and conviction of former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards. Additionally, He had previously served on and later led the Justice Department's Organized Crime and Racketeering Strike Force in New Orleans for over six years. During his nearly 34-year legal career, he has litigated literally hundreds of both jury and bench trials in both Federal and State courts.
Dean Letten has received scores of awards, including the Attorney General's Medallion for Distinguished Service for his leadership following Hurricane Katrina, the Attorney General's Award for Excellence in Litigation following the trial and conviction of the former Louisiana Governor, and recently the Anti-Defamation League's 2010 Torch of Liberty Award for advancing civil rights, among many others.
In addition to his lengthy and distinguished legal career, Dean Letten served in the United States Naval Reserve for 20 years, having retired as a Commander. During his service, Dean Letten was an intelligence officer, serving in foreign counter intelligence; as an intelligence analyst; squadron intelligence officer; and over 12 years as an NCIS Agent. During an assignment in Germany at U.S. European Command, he worked on researching and drafting early protocol studies for what eventually became the International War Crimes Tribunal.
During his lengthy career, Dean Letten has taught, lectured, and made presentations on myriad occasions across the country on a broad spectrum of legal topics, including: Investigating and prosecuting complex corruption and white collar cases; legal ethics; RICO; Disaster fraud, criminal trial discovery and disclosure obligations; post disaster legal challenges; and post-disaster continuity of operations, to name a few.
A New Orleans native, he is married to JoAnn Letten for over 30 years, with two children, Erika and James, as well as two black Labrador puppies and two cats. An avid military history buff, Dean Letten’s passions include his work at the National WWII Museum as a volunteer restoring the PT-305, a Higgins Industries-built patrol torpedo boat to full seaworthy status. A lifelong drummer, he also actively plays with the local rock group the Levee Dawgs.