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Our Staff

The Office of General Counsel is responsible for providing counsel to the University, its officers, directors, faculty, administrators and staff. The office, which includes two attorneys in addition to the General Counsel, and two professional support staff members, provides legal advice and counsel on the broad spectrum of legal issues that arise in the operation of the University.  

Attorneys in the Office of General Counsel

Joseph E. Oliva
General Counsel
E-Mail:  olivaj@stjohns.edu
Phone:  718-990-6421

Joseph E. Oliva, Esq., serves as Vice President for Administration, Secretary and General Counsel. He joined the University in October 2000.

Mr. Oliva is the chief administrative officer of the University, overseeing Athletics, Public Safety, Human Resources, The Office of General Counsel, Enterprise Risk Management, and Internal Audit.  As the University’s General Counsel, he is the chief legal officer providing counsel to the Board of Trustees, the President and other University administrative offices.  

Prior to his position at St. John’s, Mr. Oliva worked as a litigation associate at the firms Willkie, Farr & Gallagher LLP and Garfunkel, Wild, P.C.

Mr. Oliva graduated summa cum laude from St. John’s University (B.S., Finance) and magna cum laude from St. John’s School of Law.  He served on the St. John’s Law Review.  Mr. Oliva is ordained as a permanent deacon in the Diocese of Rockville Centre.  He resides on Long Island with his wife and their three children. 

Nada M. Llewellyn
Deputy General Counsel
E-Mail: llewelln@stjohns.edu
Phone:  718-990-6334

Nada M. Llewellyn joined the Office of General Counsel as Associate General Counsel in June 2005.  Mrs. Llewellyn is a graduate of Dartmouth College and a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School.  Prior to coming to St. John’s Mrs. Llewellyn was an associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in New York City specializing in corporate and commercial law.   

Joshua S. Hurwit
Associate General Counsel
E-Mail: hurwitj@stjohns.edu
Phone:  718-990-5699

Joshua Hurwit joined the Office of General Counsel as Associate General Counsel in June 2016.  Before coming to St. John's, he was an associate at Littler Mendelson P.C., in New York City representing management in all aspects of employment law.  Mr. Hurwit is a graduate of SUNY Oswego and SUNY Buffalo Law School. 

Administrators and Staff in the Office of General Counsel

Claudine M. Savain
Project Manager Legal Services
E-Mail: savainc@stjohns.edu
Phone:  718-990-3358

Claudine M. Savain joined the Office of General Counsel in October 2013.  Ms. Savain supports the OGC attorneys in a variety of legal matters, including litigation, compliance and contract review.  Prior to joining St. John's, Ms. Savain was employed for 13 years at a Garden City law firm specializing in litigation, real estate, foreclosure, bankruptcy and education law.

Ms. Savain, a graduate of St. John's University, received her B.S. from the College of Professional Studies.  

Giselle Gutierrez
Coordinator
E-Mail: Gutierrg@stjohns.edu
Phone:  718-990-6312

Giselle Gutierrez joined the Office of General Counsel at St. John’s University as Executive Secretary in October of 2007.  Prior to joining St. John’s, Ms. Gutierrez worked in the area of Real Estate Management and as a Legal Assistant/Paralegal at a litigation firm.