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Valparaiso University Law School taps capital defense expert as new dean

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Andrea D. Lyon, associate dean for clinical programs at DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, will join the Valparaiso University Law School as dean on June 2, 2014. She has experience both teaching and practicing law, and is a national expert in criminal defense.

“The match between Professor Lyon’s gifts and commitments and the law school’s mission and curricular emphases suggests she is very much the right person for the right position as the right time,” said Mark Schwehn, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “She will make a splendid addition to our entire community of learning.”

Valparaiso Law School started its search for a new dean in the spring of this year after Jay Conison stepped down to become dean at the Charlotte School of Law in North Carolina. Valparaiso wanted a dean who would take a leadership role in implementing the new curriculum as well as play an active role in developing more career opportunities for students and taking a collaborative approach to governance.

Ivan Bodensteiner, professor of law, has been serving as interim dean.

In additional to her role as associate dean at DePaul, Lyon is a clinical professor of law, director of the Darrow Death Penalty Defense College and director of the Center for Justice in Capital Cases.

Prior to her career as an educator, she was the director of the Illinois Capital Resource Center and held several positions at the Office of the Cook County Public Defender in Chicago where she was the first woman to serve as lead counsel on a death penalty case. She eventually rose to the position of chief of the homicide task force and tried more than 100 homicide cases, many of which were capital cases.

“As a professor and practitioner, I try to inspire people to do their best,” Lyon said. “At Valpo, its evident the faculty care about their students. This is a school of opportunity where students from a diverse array of backgrounds are inspired to create change.”   

Lyon blogs regularly for the Huffington Post and has published extensively. Her autobiography, “Angel of Death Row: My Life as a Death Penalty Defense Lawyer,” details the 19 cases in which Lyon defended clients.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers University and received her law degree from the Antioch School of Law in Washington, D.C.
 

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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