Wednesday January 4, 2012

Maria Crist Named School of Law Associate Dean

Law professor Maria Perez Crist, who has directed the School of Law's Legal Profession Program since 2004, has been named associate dean of academic affairs.

Dean Paul E. McGreal has named law professor Maria Perez Crist the associate dean of academic affairs at the University of Dayton School of Law, replacing Richard Perna, who had served as associate dean since 2007. He also held the position from 1992 to 1998.

Since 2004, Crist has directed the Legal Profession Program, the School of Law's legal skills curriculum covering legal research, writing and analysis skills.

"I am excited to work with Maria as we undertake the next round of strategic planning at UDSL," McGreal said. "During the selection process, I saw her clear understanding of the many challenges facing legal education, as well as the confidence of the faculty and staff in her judgment and abilities."

Crist, who joined the School of Law in 1989, has taught law practice management, family law, transactional drafting and ADR for the Litigator in addition to teaching in the Legal Profession Program. Her primary areas of research and scholarship include technology in law practice, especially new discovery rules involving e-discovery, and the growing reliance on alternative Internet sources for legal research. 

For the past five years, she has chaired the School of Law’s admissions committee. As chair, she oversees scholarship budgets and was involved in strategic planning at the law school. In addition, she has served annually on an American Bar Association site evaluation team since 2005 and recently chaired a joint task force of the Association of Legal Writing Directors and the Legal Writing Institute to review and make recommendation to update the annual survey of legal writing programs.

She received her J.D. in 1981 from the University of Michigan Law School and a B.A. from Northwestern University. 

Crist said working with the Legal Profession Program, the admissions committee and ABA accreditation has provided her the kind of experience needed for the associate dean position. "That experience has helped me see how a law school works, how we do things at Dayton and how other law schools operate." Crist said. 

The associate dean of academic affairs is responsible for the day-to-day operations on the School of Law; supervises personnel in admission and financial aid, Zimmerman Law Library, career services office and information technology; oversees educational programs; is responsible for academic matters, including faculty assignments, course scheduling and the development of academic policies and procedures; and participates in budget planning.  

Crist complimented Perna for the job he has done as associated dean, during the last four years, a time that included implementing and fine-tuning the Lawyer as Problem Solver curriculum.  

"One of the reasons I was willing to go into this job was because Rick was leaving it in really good shape," Crist said. "He has maintained a tradition of excellence in the position."

For more information, contact Bob Mihalek at 937-229-4683.

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