Search Committee Announces Three More Dean Finalists

For the past year, USD Law has actively searched for a dynamic, well-rounded individual to replace beloved Dean Kevin Cole beginning summer 2011. In January, three finalists came to campus for a two-day marathon of meet-and-greets and informational sessions for faculty and students. At the end of the visits, the USD Faculty voted its recommendation for Dean and submitted it to the USD Provost. One of the finalists withdrew his name from consideration due to familial reasons.1

After nearly three months of anticipation, on April 14, the law school e-mailed a status update on the Dean search. The school announced that the Dean Search Committee (“the Committee”) had expanded the group of Dean Finalists to include three more individuals. The Committee noted in its announcement that it was “extraordinarily impressed with the overall quality of the candidate pool” and that it “felt strongly that there were some outstanding candidates remaining.” The Committee communicated with USD Executive Vice President and Provost Julie Sullivan its recommendations to expand the pool and happily extended invitations to the candidates to visit the campus.  The finalists accepted.

The expanded pool now includes an even more diverse group of individuals with distinguishing characteristics and experiences that would positively benefit USD Law.  The three new finalists are Goodwin Procter Partner Stephen Ferruolo, Professor Russell Osgood of Grinnell College, and Associate Dean Michael Waterstone of Loyola Law School.


A former Rhodes Scholar, Mr. Ferruolo is the Founding Partner and Chair of the Goodwin Procter, LLP San Diego Office.  Prior to law school, Mr. Ferruolo was a professor at Stanford University for nearly eight years. After attending Stanford Law School, Mr. Ferruolo was a judicial law clerk and associate at O’Melveny and Myers in Los Angeles. Soon after, Mr. Ferruolo received a position with Heller Ehrman, LLP in its Palo Alto and San Diego offices. After a mere four years of work with Heller Ehrman, he became a partner—the earliest promotion in firm history. He co-chaired both the Life Sciences and Corporate departments. While at Heller Ehrman, Mr. Ferruolo also worked as an adjuct professor at Stanford Law School. In 2007, Mr. Ferruolo became a partner at Goodwin Procter.

A current La Jolla resident, Mr. Ferruolo is the one candidate with near equal balance in teaching and professional experience. He feels that being the next law school dean would enable him to experience the best of both worlds and would be the perfect opportunity for himself and his family because it is in San Diego. Most importantly, Mr. Ferruolo feels that he can make a positive impact for the USD legal community. From his experience working as a partner at a large multinational law firm, he knows that USD Law graduates are among the best lawyers, even better than graduates of many Ivy League schools. He is also well-acquainted with several members of the faculty and knows them to be among the finest in the nation. He would like to build the reputation of the University of San Diego School of law and really help structure the school to focus not only on the strengths of USD’s program but also the San Diego legal community. Mr. Ferruolo notes that San Diego is not known for big corporations. The wealth of San Diego is not from the area, and it’s not stored here in the realm of banking. What San Diego has is human talent (e.g., Biotech). He says it is time to focus on servicing these markets and building up our in-house counsel opportunities and training.

When asked about how he plans to assist in the development process of recruiting top-notch, diverse students, Mr. Ferruolo notes: China. Mr. Ferruolo believes that to enhance the school’s ability to secure post-graduation positions is to expand the student base into broader markets, which will enhance the school’s name brand. If there are strong employees at law firms across the nation, this will enhance the likelihood that USD Law will be at least considered for positions. He also notes that the largest growing legal market is China and that Chinese students come to the U.S. for law school and return to their home country for positions. He would like to expand our reputation into that legal market and encourage students to consider taking positions overseas. The first step in expanding our reputation is to encourage Chinese students to come to USD and return home and spread the name of USD Law.

Mr. Ferruolo is a practical, “hands-on guy” who understands that the best way to motivate the alumni base to support the school is to build relationships with current students. Students need to develop an affinity and relationship with the school, and we need to learn how to communicate with alumni in a way that resonates with them and build connections while students are still on campus.

An active outdoorsman who enjoys running, swimming and golfing, Mr. Ferruolo believes in balance and discipline. If selected as USD Law Dean, he would like to implement a culture that develops upon these ideals. Mr. Ferruolo humbly notes that he is a phenomenal cook who focuses on Italian dishes. And in the Women’s Law Caucus auction, he would donate one of two things: 1) golfing, or 2) a home-cooked Italian meal with his family.


Note: At the time of publication, Professor Osgood had not yet visited campus. This synopsis is based on cursory research and a basic questionnaire sent to all three candidates.

A former member of the U.S. Navy, member of the elite Phi Beta Kappa, and former Articles Editor for the Yale Law Review, Professor Russell Osgood is a current professor of history and political science at Grinnell College in Iowa. For twelve years, he was also the president of the college and led a campus-planning process resulting in the construction and planning of new facilities. He also undertook a process of major programmatic and curricular advances and launched several galleries and centers and a diversity hiring initiative.2

Prior to his work at Grinnell College, Professor Osgood worked in the Tax and Corporate Department of Hill & Barlow in Boston, specializing in employee benefits.  Before that, he worked at Boston University School of Law as an Associate Professor and then for eight years at Cornell University School of Law. He was the Editor of the Law and History Review and later the Allen R. Tessler Dean for the law school.  During his tenure at Cornell Law, he focused his scholarly work in areas of American Legal History, employee benefits and pension law, and income tax.3 He also helped to introduce a new writing program for the first-year curriculum and enhanced the school’s international curriculum and increased the diversity of its students and faculty. 4 Professor Osgood also worked to increase the “school’s resources to keep pace with technological advancement” and enhanced the law school’s “Legal information Institute.”5 This Institute is known as one of the top providers of legal information on the web.

Professor Osgood feels that being the Dean of USD Law would be “a great opportunity to meaningfully advance the law school in national reputation and in contributing to [the] legal system.” He feels that the goal to expand the school’s reputation will involve many decisions that may not be easy or popular but necessary. He would like to work with a community of students, faculty, alumni, and University that is committed to the advancement of the school and willing to make those hard decisions. Before Professor Osgood finds the best ways to move the law school forward, he would like to first find his way around the campus community and develop a stronger sense of the opportunities and challenges of the school and the interaction between students, faculty, and the legal community. As Dean, he has three key interests: 1) Increasing the academic reputation of the school, 2) working to reduce student loan indebtedness on graduation, and 3) building excellence at every step in the Law School.

When asked about the bar passage rate, Professor Osgood noted that during his work on law school accreditation, he has observed a number of schools with lower bar passage rates. He would like to work with the law school to continue in its development of a multi-faceted plan and program for success. He knows that California has a historically lower bar passage rate, but he believes USD Law’s rates must be improved.

Professor Osgood met his wife in junior high school and notes that he enjoys swimming and running every day.  However, the school would be unwise to put him on a softball team. He has three Cairn Terriers and four accomplished grown children and enjoys all kinds of broiled fish. He enjoys watching college swimming, basketball, and football.


Note: At the time of publication, Mr. Waterstone had not yet visited campus. This synopsis is based on cursory research and a basic questionnaire sent to all three candidates.

Michael Waterstone is the current Associate Dean of Research and Academic Centers at Loyola Law School. He is a 1995 summa cum laude graduate of UCLA, a member of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa, and a former Technical Editor of the Journal of Legislation and magna cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School.  Prior to working at Loyola Law School, Dean Waterstone clerked for the Honorable Richard S. Arnold in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. He later became an associate at Munger, Tolles, & Olson in Los Angeles and then taught at the University of Mississippi School of Law.

Dean Waterstone is a “nationally recognized expert in disability and civil rights law.” He has been published in several prestigious law reviews.6 He has been a consultant for several programs and has addressed Congress and worked on many policy initiatives. He has also lectured at conferences throughout the world.

As native Southern Californians, Dean Waterstone and his wife would love to remain close to home and raise their children near family. Also, Dean Waterstone notes that being the Dean of USD Law would be an “extraordinary opportunity to be a part of a school that has already had phenomenal success.” He enjoys being a part of a program that is “larger than himself, and working to empower colleagues and students to succeed.” When questioned about his vision for USD Law, Dean Waterstone notes that he would like to visit the campus and meet more individuals before articulating a vision. However, he has several priorities: developing the resources for USD Law to move forward; helping students get jobs and succeed in this more competitive environment we find ourselves in, and strategically growing USD’s already stellar faculty.

Dean Waterstone is a life-long Angels fan who enjoys traveling. Dean Waterstone recollects one of his happiest memories as being with his father at Game 7 of the World Series when the Angels beat the Giants in 2002. As a traveler, after graduating from UCLA, he backpacked around Europe and after law school spent some time in Costa Rica studying Spanish and surfing. As Dean he would be excited to continue current USD traditions. In a Women’s Law Caucus auction, he and his wife would donate dinners or tailgates at sporting events.

1 See Christina Phan, Experienced Dean or Politically Connected Lobbyist: Your USD Law Dean Finalists, Motions Online, Feb. 9, 2011,

2 See Russell K. Osgood, Grinnell College, (last visited Apr. 26, 2011).

3 Id.

4 Osgood Is Named New President of Grinnell College, Cornell Chron., May 21, 1998,

5 Id.

6Michael Waterstone, Loyla Law Sch., (last visited Apr. 26, 2011).

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