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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 joined the Office of General Counsel in November, 2000.  Mr. Oliva is a summa cum laude graduate of St. John’s University and a magna cum laude graduate of St. John’s School of Law.  Prior to coming to St. John’s, Mr. Oliva first served as a litigation associate at Willkie Farr & Gallagher in New York City and then as an associate attorney specializing in not-for-profit, health care and higher education law at Garfunkel, Wild & Travis on Long Island. 

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.   

Kathleen M. McElroy
Senior General Counsel
E-Mail:  mcelroyk@stjohns.edu
Phone:  718-990-5699

Kathleen M. McElroy joined the Office of General Counsel as Associate General Counsel in January 2005.  Ms. McElroy is a graduate of Ithaca College and a cum laude graduate of Albany Law School of Union University.  Prior to coming to St. John’s, Ms. McElroy worked as an associate attorney with Hoey, King, Toker & Epstein in New York City specializing predominantly in labor and employment law issues and counseling.  In addition, Ms. McElroy worked as an associate attorney with the firms of Jackson Lewis LLP in New York City, Holm & O’Hara LLP in New York City and the Law Office of James J. Thorton on Long Island.

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.