Nick Allard, chairman of Patton Boggs’ lobbying practice, is leaving the firm to become dean of Brooklyn Law School starting July 1.

Allard, a longtime Democratic lobbyist and partner at Washington’s largest and most lucrative lobby shop, will be the law school’s eighth dean.

During his time at Patton Boggs, Allard led the opening of the firms’ Newark and New York offices. His tenure also included the firm’s 2010 acquisition of Breaux Lott Leadership Group, a smaller public policy shop founded by former Sens. John Breaux (D-La.) and Trent Lott (R-Miss.).

“It’s bittersweet in a sense, I’m going to miss being with these talented colleagues on a daily basis,” Allard said in an interview. “But the opportunity in Brooklyn is irresistible. [Brooklyn Law School] is becoming a law school that looks around the corner and is dealing with future challenges as law is transforming rapidly.”

The firm has yet to name a replacement, and Allard said he will maintain informal ties with Patton Boggs “that enhance and don’t interfere with my duties as a dean.”

Patton Boggs Chairman Thomas Boggs praised Allard as a champion of ethics in law and lobbying.

“He is a scholar in a lawyer’s skin who has the vision and skills to lead Brooklyn Law School into the future at this important and challenging time for higher education,” Boggs said in a statement.

Allard joined Patton Boggs in 2005 from Latham & Watkins, and previously served as chief of staff to Sen. Pat Moynihan (D-N.Y.) and legal counsel for Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass). He’s long had ties to higher education, having been outside counsel for several universities including the University of Minnesota, the University of Alabama and Princeton. He has taught at George Mason University Law School, Georgetown University Law Center and Georgetown University McDonough School of Business as an adjunct professor.