Whittier Law School Names Interim Dean

John K. Fitzgerald, attorney, alumnus, and legal educator, steps into post


COSTA MESA, CALIF. – February 17, 2016 – Whittier Law School has appointed John K. Fitzgerald as the Interim Dean, effective March 1, 2016.

Dean Fitzgerald is a partner in the Intellectual Property section of Rutan & Tucker, LLP, Orange County’s largest law firm with more than 150 attorneys. In addition to his many years of experience as an intellectual property attorney, Dean Fitzgerald also has deep connections to Whittier Law School. After graduating cum laude from the school in ’93, he has taught as an adjunct professor, and sits on the Board of Trustees for Whittier College and Whittier Law School, and is a Director on the National Board of Directors of the Whittier Law School Alumni Association.

According to Sharon Herzberger, President of Whittier College, “John is the perfect leader for the Law School at this time. He will bring a passion for the institution and its student body, and an in-depth knowledge of the workings of the Law School. On top of these qualities, John brings a businessman’s sensibilities and experience at a time when we are adjusting the Law School operations to a smaller school model. Finally, John’s connections to our extensive alumni body and to the legal community will aid in helping Whittier Law School graduates find legal employment as they pursue their own careers.”

Dean Fitzgerald’s unusual combination of success in the legal field, experience as a faculty member, and a deep understanding of the mission and culture of Whittier Law School will serve the school well in the future.

According to Dean Fitzgerald, “I believe I bring a fresh perspective to the law school environment. Whittier Law has been a leader in implementing experiential learning, and installing a Dean who is a legal practitioner serves to cement our reputation as a school that emphasizes outcomes.”

In his legal career, Dean Fitzgerald has specialized in prosecution and litigation of patents, trademarks, copyright, licensing and trade secret matters, concentrating on high technology matters in the fields of mechanical, analytical, biomedical, optical, e-commerce, computer, network, software and material technology. Prior to joining Rutan & Tucker, Dean Fitzgerald was a partner at Fulwider Patton LLP, an intellectual property boutique firm in Los Angeles.

Before changing fields to law, Dean Fitzgerald had a successful career in materials science and process engineering, working for such companies as Dow Corning Corporation and IOLAB, a Johnson & Johnson company. He authored a variety of publications in the areas of gas transmission of materials, contact and intraocular lens design and technology and clinical research, and is a co-inventor of a U.S. Patent.

Dean Fitzgerald is admitted to practice in California, the Federal Circuit and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is a member of the State Bar of California, Los Angeles County Bar Association, the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association, and the Orange County Patent Law Association.

For media inquiries, contact: Judy DeVine, Director of Communications, Whittier Law School. Email: jdevine@law.whittier.edu. Phone: (714) 444-4141 ×131.

Article Info

Categories: School News