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New dean of USD School of Law brings years of academic, practical experience

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When asked what a student should expect from a University of San Diego law education, Stephen C. Ferruolo didn't hesitate:

"Opportunities," he said. "I really believe that a legal education opens up a lot of opportunities … we need to continue to encourage students to make maximum use of all the resources available."

In June, university officials announced that Ferruolo has been named dean of USD's School of Law. He will assume his duties on Aug. 1.

"I see joining the USD School of Law as dean as a fulfillment of my two previous careers, first as a teacher-scholar and then as a business lawyer," said Ferruolo. "I understand the important mission of the university, and I know that I will enjoy participating in and facilitating the faculty's scholarly and teaching mission. I will also seek to draw on my 20-plus years in legal practice to lead the efforts of the law school to better prepare students for the evolving demands of the legal marketplace."

Ferruolo was already an accomplished scholar and teacher before earning his JD from Stanford Law School in 1990. After graduating Wesleyan University in 1971, Ferruolo was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, earned a PhD in history at Princeton and served on the faculties at Bennington College and Stanford. His book on the origins of the university, published by Stanford University Press in 1985, has been widely cited and remains the authoritative work in the field.

Most recently, Ferruolo served as founding partner and chair of the San Diego office of Goodwin Procter LLP where he remains Of Counsel. Prior to joining Goodwin Procter in 2007, Ferruolo was a partner and co-chair of the Corporate/VLG Practice Group at Heller Ehrman LLP in its Palo Alto, Calif. and San Diego offices.

Ferruolo's practice focused on transactional work, with a special emphasis on corporate finance and governance, and mergers and acquisitions. Much of his practice has involved representing technology and life science companies in San Diego as well as nationally and internationally. Earlier this year, Ferruolo was elected vice chairman of BIOCOM/San Diego, the largest regional life sciences association in the world, which represents more than 550 member companies. From 2003-11, he served as vice president and general counsel of BIOCOM. Ferruolo believes his experience will enhance the law school's expanding relationship with the business community in San Diego and throughout the Southwest.

Ferruolo succeeds Kevin Cole, currently completing his sixth year as dean. Cole, who has been on the faculty since 1987, will return to the classroom and teach criminal law and procedure, evidence, and professional ethics.

Submitted by USD School of Law

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