Quinnipiac University School of Law has named a new dean, a professor with expertise in alternative dispute resolution and legal issues concerning sexual orientation.
Jennifer Gerarda Brown, a New Haven resident, has been a Quinnipiac faculty member since 1994 and, for nearly 15 years, has served as the director of the School of Law's Center on Dispute Resolution. Brown will become dean on July 1.
"Jennifer was selected from a pool of outstanding applicants following an extensive national search," said Quinnipiac University President John L. Lahey. "Quinnipiac is fortunate to have someone with Jennifer's extensive teaching, research, administrative and legal experience to serve as the next dean of the School of Law."
That the new dean has a background studying and teaching dispute resolution points to a continued focus on one of the school's best-known strengths. U.S. News & World Report repeatedly ranks Quinnipiac in the top 20 law school programs in dispute resolution. Last year, Quinnipiac law school, which has about 400 students, was rated 107th overall by the magazine.
"The evidence is quite clear that more lawyers are representing clients in neogotiating their cases to settle," Brown said in an interview. "So the work we do in the Center on Dispute Resolution is preparing our graduates to practice in that new environment."
Moving forward, Brown expects to expand the dispute resolution program by encouraging more mediators to participate in student workshops on a wider range of topics, such as health care and employment law. Brown also plans to expand upon the career counseling students get. "I think we will be looking at ways to work with students more intentionally and directly to help them start their careers," she said.
Sense Of Community
Brown will take over for Brad Saxton, who was Quinnipiac's dean for a little more than a decade. Saxton announced last May he would leave the leadership post, but would continue to teach at the school. At the time, Saxton was praised for increasing the diversity and quality of both the student body and the faculty at the Hamden law school, as well as strengthening relations with the state bar.
"Under Brad Saxton's leadership, our sense of community and student service has only strengthened, and I plan to maintain that focus," Brown said. "We will be looking for new ways to work with our students as they plan their careers."
One of the first projects Brown will undertake as dean is leading the law school's move from the Mount Carmel Campus in Hamden, where it has been since 1995, to Quinnipiac's North Haven Campus, which also is home to Quinnipiac's schools of medicine, nursing, health sciences and education.