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FROM DISTRICT ATTORNEY TO DEAN Tamara Lawson ’95 Named Acting Dean of St. Thomas University School of Law

As a student in Kendrick Hall, Tamara Lawson ’95 never dreamed she would one day occupy a law school dean's ofce. But this spring the former civil rights attorney did just that when she was appointed acting dean of St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami. After law school, Lawson spent six years as a deputy district attorney in Las Vegas and then more than a decade as a law professor, focusing primarily on criminal law, criminal procedure, and race and the law. She has published on criminal law topics that ultimately impact civil rights, including an analysis of the Trayvon Martin killing, and has conducted extensive research on stand-your-ground laws. “I didn’t see it at frst, but now I realize that as a criminal law expert, I’m having an impact on civil rights. Criminal procedure is basically the back end of civil rights law,” Lawson said. “As a professor, I’m still able to participate on the national stage and have an impact on issues.” Now, as acting dean, Lawson is helping to train the next generation of attorneys. “I’m committed to our mission as a school of access and to our social justice Catholic mission. I’m very proud to be a part of that, particularly in our region as it relates to our clinics on human rights, human trafcking, and immigration.” Lawson is focused on improving bar passage rates, increasing alumni participation rates, and ensuring the school remains accessible to all students who have the grit necessary for law school. Prior to her appointment, Lawson served in associate dean roles for several years in addition to teaching. Such plans weren’t in Lawson’s mind when she started at USF School of Law. Drawn to USF because of its Jesuit Catholic heritage, Lawson discovered a welcoming community, including supportive faculty members who were always accessible. She participated in the civil rights clinic, worked in the law library, and, as a 3L, tutored for a frst-year law class. But it wasn’t until she taught as an adjunct professor while a deputy district attorney that she considered a career in academia. She ultimately returned to law school full-time, this time at Georgetown University pursuing an LLM. Her goal was clear — position herself to obtain a law professorship in the competitive world of academia. Throughout the process, Lawson relied on the support of her former USF professors for guidance and coaching. “They encouraged me always,” she said. “They were helpful and never said I can’t do it.” “USF gave me my legal foundation, but it also gave me my confidence to tackle areas where a lot of people haven’t gone,” Lawson said. “Practice is not the only use of a law degree. Working in academia has been a great use of my degree.” n




Amol Mehra was appointed as James Rush has been

certifed as a member of the MultiMillion Dollar Advocates Forum, a group of trial lawyers who have won million and multi-million-dollar verdicts, awards, and settlements. Rush specializes in plaintifs personal injury law at Rush Law Injury in Novato.

Hon. Christopher Honigsberg

was appointed to the California Superior Court in Sonoma County by Gov. Jerry Brown. Edward J. Piasta II and his partners

secured an $11.5 million verdict for their clients in a wrongful death case against the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. Piasta is a JAG in the Georgia National Guard, soon to be deployed to Iraq for the second time. Joe Rogoway was named to the North Bay Business Journal’s 11th

annual 40 Under 40 list. Rogoway is founder and principal of the Rogoway Law Group.


Kate Chatfeld was interviewed by AirTalk on NPR’s Los Angeles afliate KPCC on California’s felony murder rule. Kimberly Shields was elected

shareholder at Murphy, Pearson, Bradley & Feeney in San Francisco, where she started as an associate in 2007.


Stephanie Chen was

appointed to the Disadvantaged Communities Advisory Group of the California Public Utilities Commission.


Jack Praetzellis has been elevated to partner at Fox Rothschild LLP, where he advocates for California businesses in disputes involving commercial, real estate, bankruptcy, and intellectual property matters.

The Freedom Fund’s new managing director for North America.


Adrian Carpenter was appointed as a member of the California Cannabis Control Appeals Panel by Gov. Jerry Brown. Mike Dundas was featured in the

article “First pot license issued: Milestone for Mass. recreational industry” published by the Boston Globe. Dundas’ company, Sira Naturals, recently received Massachusetts’ frst recreational marijuana license. Rudolf Leška LLM partnered with colleagues to establish Štadil Leška Advokáti, a boutique law frm specializing in copyright and media law. The frm has ofces in Prague and Bratislava, and serves central and eastern Europe.


Julianne Stanford, an attorney at California Civil Rights Law Group, was named a 2018 Northern California Rising Star by Super Lawyers.


Lindsay Freeman wrote the article “Digital Evidence and War Crimes Prosecutions: The Impact of Digital Technologies on International Criminal Investigations and Trials,” published in the Fordham International Law Journal. Sarah Van Culin, an attorney at

Saveri & Saveri, Inc., was named a 2018 Northern California Rising Star by Super Lawyers.


Everett Monroe was interviewed for the article “No one knows how Google Duplex will work with eavesdropping laws” in The Verge.

Profile for USF School of Law

USF Lawyer Fall 2018  

All Rise - From the NFL to the federal bench, California Court of Appeal Justice Martin J. Jenkins ’80 has made a career of helping others g...

USF Lawyer Fall 2018  

All Rise - From the NFL to the federal bench, California Court of Appeal Justice Martin J. Jenkins ’80 has made a career of helping others g...