Law School Names Shirley Mays as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
Mays, a transactional business law attorney and legal educator, joined the Knudson School of Law in 2022 as an assistant professor and has taught courses in contracts, business organizations, transactional drafting and skills, and sales and leasing. She will continue her role in the classroom while fulfilling her duties as the associate dean of academic affairs.
“I am excited to welcome Associate Dean Mays,” said Neil Fulton, J.D., dean of the law school. “She is an experienced and passionate legal educator and administrator. The USD Knudson School of Law is justly proud of its commitment to student education and support; Associate Dean Mays embraces that mission and will serve as a valuable mentor to students and faculty in this role.
“I am fortunate to have her as a partner in sustaining our work as a community of excellence, service and leadership going forward,” Fulton continued.
A graduate of Harvard Law School, Mays started her law teaching career at Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio, where she also served as associate dean for academic affairs for five years. From 2010 to 2016, Mays served as dean and professor of law at Arizona Summit Law School, spearheading the redesign of the predominant law school model. She also facilitated the creation and implementation of an experiential-based curriculum. Arizona Summit was named the most innovative law school curriculum by Pre-Law Magazine during Mays’ tenure as dean.
Mays said she looks forward to serving as associate dean of academic affairs and is excited to continue to advance an encouraging community of faculty, staff and students at the Knudson School of Law.
“As a law school, we want to continue to ensure our curriculum and student support remain in sync with the ever-present changes in the legal profession, and I want to help facilitate that conversation and corresponding actions,” Mays said. “Making sure our curricular offerings are responsive to the upcoming changes in the bar exam and continuing to provide substantial opportunities for our students to develop their professional identities and mental well-being will solidify our place as a leader in legal education.”
In addition to feeling welcomed in the law school community, Mays said she also feels at home in the broader Vermillion community.
“From the Women in Philanthropy speaker series at the law school to Thursdays on the Platz downtown, both the school and the surrounding areas provide ample opportunities for both fun and learning,” Mays said. “The kindness of the residents, students, faculty and staff constantly reaffirms me that I am at home.”
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