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Law school deans: Kevin Cole

University of San Diego School of Law

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Kevin Cole has been dean of the University of San Diego School of Law since the fall of 2005, but he hasn't stopped looking for ways to improve the institution.

The school recently launched a few specialty law centers to help its students better understand the issues facing the legal community, and USD has added quality hires to its faculty.

"I've been here since 1987, and the school has never been in better shape," Cole said. "The students are first rate and the alumni support of the school -- there's a lot of enthusiasm and that's a good recipe for moving forward."

This year, USD School of Law hired Ted Sichelman, who is helping build the school's new Center on Intellectual Property Law and Markets. Cole said the center is developing into a great resource not only for students but for local attorneys as well.

"It's going to provide opportunities for people who are IP professionals to stay up-to-speed with cutting-edge developments in the field," Cole said, "and enhance our ability to produce grads who have a firm understanding of the kinds of issues that are so important in a high-tech economy."

The school also just launched the Center on Corporate and Securities Law under the direction of Frank Partnoy, a George E. Barrett Professor of Law and Finance.

"The financial crisis really made Frank a sought after authority in the media and government," Cole said. "He actually cautioned (early on) that the development of financial derivatives might be putting the economy at risk."

Like the IP center, the Center on Corporate and Securities Law is proving useful to both students and area lawyers. Cole said it will be offering programs designed to bring industry experts to the area.

"That's good for our students because it exposes them to a wider range of view points," Cole said.

Additionally, USD School of Law features a journal on climate and energy law, becoming one of the first schools in the country to address those important issues. The school held a symposium last spring, and a paper will be published within the next month. Officials already have scheduled a second symposium, and some nationally recognized leaders have agreed to serve on the journal's advisory board.

Cole said he wants to expand the school's clinical legal programs and "continue to provide a first-rate education to aspiring lawyers."

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