Meet UW Law’s new associate dean for students
After spending her early years as an attorney at a top law firm on the West Coast, Anna Endter parlayed her legal education into a career as a law librarian that eventually landed her at the UW.
It was under the crystals at William H. Gates Hall where she discovered a passion for working with students, and today, she does so on an even greater scale as the law school’s new interim associate dean for students.
“I love working with our students,” Endter said. “That's what brings me the most professional satisfaction. Interacting, teaching, connecting them with resources and helping them learn are parts of my job I really enjoy.”
As interim associate dean for students, Endter serves as a key resource for UW Law students at every level — something with which she has extensive experience.
When Endter joined the Gallagher Law Library at the UW in 2013, the library was largely public- and faculty-facing with what she identified as a number of barriers to student access. That began to change as she set to bring students further into the fold.
She helped launch the library’s student-focused web portal, expanded programming and services, and established clear lines of communication for students who come to the library — often in their most stressful moments — to seek guidance from Gallagher’s team of experts.
For Endter, the transition to her new role was a natural fit given the work she has done already.
“That’s really why I wanted to be in this role,” Endter said. “I see myself as an advocate for students, and because I’ve worked so closely with them over the years as a librarian, not necessarily as a faculty member, I have a different relationship with them.”
Endter completed her undergraduate education at the University of Southern California before earning her J.D. from the University of California, Davis. After practicing as a commercial litigator in San Francisco, she transitioned into mediation work in Seattle.
When she decided she wanted to transition into a new professional phase, Endter enrolled in UW’s iSchool, where she earned her Master of Librarianship and Information Science with a special certificate in Law Librarianship.
I see myself as an advocate for students, and because I’ve worked so closely with them over the years as a librarian … I have a different relationship with them.— Anna Endter
In her seven years of experience — three of which spent as head of research services — at Gallagher Law Library, Endter has seen the full spectrum of the student experience. She said if there is one skill incoming law students should hone, it is prioritizing their own wellness, health and self-care. Learning how to take care of oneself early, she said, sets a strong foundation to be a more effective and successful lawyer beyond the classroom.
“I told my students when I teach, ‘Set good habits now so that when you’re ready to leap into legal practice, you don’t have to learn to take care of yourself.’”
Among the demands students face with classes, experiential learning opportunities and life outside of the law school, Endter understands that time is valuable and not always available to spend on oneself — a reality that law schools across the country struggle to address.
That is why supporting the student experience, she said, is a key priority moving forward in her new role.
“What I bring to this role is the ability to meet each student where they are,” Endter said. “As a librarian, I would always stress why that is so important. And so for students, that meant whatever resources they needed, I could adjust and help them get what they needed. That is how I approach this role: be able to be flexible in order to meet each student’s needs.”