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New dean, new programs at Thomas Jefferson School of Law

New opportunities for students, graduates

Thomas Jefferson School of Law will welcome a new dean and president on July 1 with the arrival of Thomas F. Guernsey, former Dean of Albany Law School and Southern Illinois University. Dean Guernsey will continue the renaissance of creative programming over the last eight years started by current Thomas Jefferson Dean and President Rudy Hasl when he joined the law school in 2005.

Dean Hasl is stepping down after having served as dean for more than 32 years at four different ABA law schools, making him the longest serving law school dean in the country. He is responsible for leading the construction of Thomas Jefferson's new state-of-the-art campus in the East Village that has won several awards, as well as LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Thomas F. Guernsey

Rudy Hasl

His legacy also includes: the law school's membership in the Association of American Law Schools (AALS); three LLM programs, one completely online; the JD/MBA program; the summer study abroad programs in China and France; seven new live client clinical programs, including the four within the new Small Business Law Center on campus; the new Center for Sports Law and Policy; three new fellowship programs in Criminal Law, Intellectual Property, and Sports Law and Policy; and most recently, the new Center for Solo Practitioners, a lawyer incubator program for recent Thomas Jefferson graduates to help them set up solo practices and build client bases while at the same time providing access to justice for members of the San Diego community at an affordable cost.

Thomas Jefferson's Board of Trustees is confident that Dean Guernsey Will follow Dean Hasl's lead in providing strong leadership and successful solutions to current challenges in legal education.

"Tom Guernsey stood out by reason of his experience, background and proven track record in more than 35 years of legal education," said Judge William McCurine, Jr., member of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the Dean Search Committee.

Attorneys in Thomas Jefferson School of Law's new Center for Solo Practitioners.

"I am honored to be chosen as the next Dean of Thomas Jefferson School of Law," said Dean Guernsey. "One cannot help but be impressed with what is clearly the best law school facility in the country, but the reason I am excited to join the Thomas Jefferson School of Law community is the work going on inside that building. The faculty has developed innovative programs and approaches to delivering legal education and are exploring creative ways to make law school more affordable and better prepare students to be practice ready."

Dean Guernsey teaches evidence, criminal law, criminal procedure and trial advocacy. He has practice experience in disability law litigation and legal aid, and has served as a consultant/trainer in interviewing, counseling, negotiation, mediation and trial practice for various legal, public service, government, insurance, business, medical and banking organizations. He also is active in the American Bar Association and the AALS.

-Submitted by the communications office at Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

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