Paul Kurtz ’72 (BA’68) passes the baton to Lonnie Brown ’89 at UGA Law

May 15, 2013

Paul Kurtz '72 (BA'68) and  Lonnie T. Brown Jr. ’89Lonnie T. Brown Jr. ’89 has been named associate dean of academic affairs at the University of Georgia School of Law. Brown replaces another Vanderbilt Law graduate, Paul M. Kurtz ’72 (B.A. ’68), who is retiring this summer after 22 years as UGA Law’s associate dean and 38 years on UGA’s law faculty.

Kurtz, who is the J. Alton Hosch Professor of Law, specializes in criminal law and family law. Active in legislative issues throughout his career, he was reporter for the Georgia Supreme Court’s Indigent Defense Reform Commission, the driving force behind landmark legislation enacted in 2003. He served on Georgia’s 11-member Public Defender Standards Council, which is responsible for delivering indigent criminal defense services within Georgia’s criminal justice system, from 2003-09. He was also instrumental on the Public Interest Loan Repayment Task Force, which wrote legislation creating a state fund for this cause passed by the Georgia Legislature in 2002. Kurtz has also represented Georgia on the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws and was a member of the NCCUSL’s drafting committee of the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act. He is a member of the American Law Institute and served as adviser on the ALI Project on Principles of Family Dissolution in 1998-99.

Kurtz clerked for Chief Judge Harry Phillips of Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and then taught at the law schools of Boston University and Boston College before joining UGA. In addition to his J.D. from Vanderbilt, Kurtz holds an LL.M. from Harvard.

Brown, who specializes in civil procedure and legal ethics, holds UGA’s A. Gus Cleveland Distinguished Chair of Legal Ethics and Professionalism. Since joining UGA Law in 2002, he has received the Student Bar Association’s Professionalism Award six times as well as the Ellington Award for Excellence in teaching. He has served as a Senior Teaching Fellow at UGA and is a member of the UGA Teaching Academy. As the inaugural Administrative Fellow in UGA’s Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost in 2007-08, he was exposed to the inner workings of academic administration.

He is also very active in the broader legal community, serving on the Drafting Committee for the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam and on the State Bar of Georgia Formal Advisory Opinion Board. Additionally, he was recently selected by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia as the principal substantive consultant for the court’s Local Rules Revision Project.

Before joining UGA’s law faculty, Brown was an assistant professor of law at the University of Illinois and a visiting assistant professor at Vanderbilt. After earning his J.D., he clerked for Judge William C. O’Kelley of the Northern District of Georgia and then practiced law for eight years as an associate and a partner at Alston & Bird in Atlanta. “I am humbled to follow in Paul’s footsteps,” Brown said. “He has been a wonderful colleague and friend to me over the years, as well as the very embodiment of all that is good about our law school. I hope that I can live up to his example and carry on his tremendous legacy.”

“I am delighted to be succeeded by my longtime friend and colleague, Lonnie Brown,” Kurtz said. “He has been a tremendous teacher and scholar and I know he will be a wonderful associate dean. The fact that he and I share the tie to Vanderbilt is simply icing on the cake to me.”

Kurtz is the general chair of the 45th reunion of Vanderbilt University’s Class of 1968 this fall. His work as fundraising chair for the 40th reunion of the law school’s Class of 1972 reunion in 2012 resulted an overwhelming response from his class. “Paul has long served Vanderbilt as an enthusiastic volunteer, and his classmates say Paul is the glue that has held his class together,” Scotty Mann, associate dean for alumni relations and development, said.