The University of La Verne College of Law has appointed Placido Gomez as associate dean of academic affairs and Michael O’Connor as associate dean of faculty performance and development.
Gomez and O’Connor, both professors of law, replace Kevin Marshall, who was appointed interim dean in October. They assumed their new roles in November.
“I am honored to be working alongside such seasoned jurists,” Marshall said. “Our students already benefit from the broad practical and academic experience these two professors bring to the classroom. Now they will also see Professors Gomez and O’Connor lead our college toward a successful future.”
Gomez came to the College of Law in 2013. He received his B.A. and M.A. from Adams State College and his J.D from the University of New Mexico, as well as receiving his LL.M from Yale Law School. Professor Gomez previously served as the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, New Mexico and as Professor of Law at Thurgood Marshal School of Law at Texas Southern University, St. Mary’s University School of Law, and Phoenix School of Law.
At St. Mary’s, Gomez regularly taught in the law school’s Criminal Justice Clinic, serving as the clinic’s director for two years. Professor Gomez also teaches in the Pre Law Summer Institute for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian Students at the American Indian Law Center, University of New Mexico School of Law.
At the College of Law, Professor Gomez has taught Evidence, Criminal Procedure, Property and a Jury Selection seminar. He serves on the Admissions and Curriculum Committees.
O’Connor joined the College of Law in 2014. He received his B.A. from Pennsylvania State University and his J.D. from Yale Law School. Professor O’Connor has more than 20 years teaching experience at various schools in the U.S. and abroad. He has taught a wide range of doctrinal and skills courses, including Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Constitutional Law, Terrorism, Civil Rights Litigation, Civil Rights Discrimination and Legal Writing, among others. His scholarship ranges across disciplines but focuses on the intersection of human rights, civil liberties and efforts to combat terrorism. As a practicing lawyer, Professor O’Connor represented death-sentenced prisoners across the U.S. for almost two decades.