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On Campus Curtis Bridgeman, Associate Dean at Florida State Law School, is Willamette’s New Law Dean Curtis Bridgeman, associate dean for Academic Affairs at Florida State University, will start as the 21st dean of Willamette University College of Law in July. A scholar in contract law, Bridgeman has almost a decade of experience at FSU, ranked the 48th best law school in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and the 25th best in the nation by The Wall Street Journal at placing graduates in jobs requiring law school degrees. Bridgeman says he’s excited about leading Willamette, the oldest law school in the Pacific Northwest. The school is unique in the region for several reasons, he notes: “Willamette is a place where students know their professors, they know the dean and the dean knows them. It’s located in the state capital, and that provides so many opportunities for students to get real-word experience. And Willamette has a fantastic faculty that is very scholarly but also places a high value on teaching. “That great sense of tradition, combined with a great location, a nimble size and great faculty allow us to be more responsive to the needs of students,” he says. “We have to be vigilant to make sure the education we’re providing gives students the opportunities they can reasonably expect.” Willamette is similar to FSU in that both schools are located in state capitals — FSU is in Tallahassee — and Bridgeman has worked with state agencies and FSU alumni to get them more involved at the law school. Those same opportunities exist in Salem, he says. “We use our location to provide the best possible education and job opportunities for our students,” he says. “A lot of things we’ve done here we can do at Willamette.” Bridgeman clerked for the Hon. Gilbert Merritt of the Sixth Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals in Nashville, before he became a professor at FSU in 2004. Members of the first-year class chose him Professor of the Year three times; in 2007 he was named the James Edmund and Margaret Elizabeth Hennessey Cory Professor of Law. Currently he teaches contracts, commercial law, creditors’ rights, jurisprudence and philosophy of private law. Bridgeman’s scholarship explores the structure and philosophy of contracts, commercial law and bankruptcy law. He has spoken at law 34 | Willamette Lawyer

Willamette Lawyer | Spring 2013 Vol. XIII, No. 1

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