Paul Paton
Paul D. Paton, JSD, has been named dean of Fowler School of Law.

New Dean Selected for Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law Paul Paton, an international expert in legal ethics, takes the role in June

Chapman University announced this week that Paul Paton has been named Dean of the Fowler School of Law and Donald P. Kennedy Chair in Law. The internationally recognized expert in legal ethics and former interim CEO of the Canadian Bar Association joins Chapman on June 30. 

Paton is currently the Thomas W. Lawlor Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Alberta, Canada, where he served as Dean of Law and Wilbur Fee Bowker Professor of Law between 2014-2019. He previously served as the inaugural vice provost at University of the Pacific and as professor of law at the university’s McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. He received his bachelor’s degree and first law degree from the University of Toronto; a Master of Philosophy degree in international relations from Magdalene College, University of Cambridge; and Master of Science Law and Doctor of Science Law degrees from Stanford Law School. He clerked for the Chief Justice of the Court of Appeal for Ontario and spent a decade in practice as a litigation partner in a major firm, as a senior government policy advisor, and as in-house counsel to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. 

His service to the bar has included work as reporter to the American Bar Association’s Ethics 20/20 Commission, as a member of the ABA Standing Committee on Professional Regulation and as a speaker and panelist at multiple ABA, state bar and International Bar Association conferences as well as leading academic and professional conferences in North America and internationally. 

“Paton brings to the Fowler School of Law and Chapman University an unflinching commitment to student success and a passion for learning,” says Chapman University Provost Norma Bouchard. “He is a first-generation university student, law student and lawyer. His maternal grandparents were non-English-speaking immigrants to Canada and homesteaders from Ukraine. Paul and his siblings were instilled with the importance of maximizing the benefit of any educational opportunity that they could earn by working hard, respecting others, and giving back with humility,” she shares in a campus-wide announcement of Paton’s selection. 

His focus is on legal ethics, professional responsibility, comparative regulation of the legal profession, corporate governance and ethics in corporate contexts. He has offered a wide range of courses in both U.S. and Canadian law schools and in international programs in legal ethics; corporate governance; business associations; securities regulation; public international law; torts; professional responsibility; ethics for government and public law; and international law of armed conflict post-9/11.

“I’m honored to have been selected and look forward to serving a community that values bold ambition tempered with humanity,” says Paton. “Events domestic and international — at every level — have challenged lawyers, law students and all of us as citizens in ways that have reinforced as never before the critical importance of what we do as educators, leaders and mentors. I’m proud to help shape the next chapter of the Fowler School of Law as a place where future lawyers prepare for life as professionals and officers of the court, serving with honor and distinction whether handling the smallest matter for a single client, or advising our country or others on upholding the rule of law.” 

Law School Admissions Council CEO and President Kellye Testy says she was pleased to learn of Paton’s new role. “Dean Paton is committed to student success, maximizing learning opportunities, and serving both the academy and the profession through research, leadership, and innovation,” Testy says. “I look forward to working with him in this new capacity to enrich the future of justice.” 

About Chapman University

Founded in 1861, Chapman University is a nationally ranked private university located in Southern California. Chapman is categorized by the Carnegie Classification as an R2 “high research activity” institution and offers personalized education to more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The campus has produced a Rhodes Scholar, been named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars, and hosts a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honor society. Based in the city of Orange, Chapman also includes the Harry and Diane Rinker Health Science Campus in Irvine. In 2019, the university opened its 11th college, Fowler School of Engineering, in its newest facility, Keck Center for Science and Engineering. Learn more about Chapman University:

Cerise Valenzuela Metzger

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