Michael A. Simons, J.D., Dean of St. John’s
School of Law and John V. Brennan Professor of Law and Ethics,
joined St. John’s in 1998. Like his father before him (
Andrew J. Simons ’65L, Vice Dean Emeritus), Dean
Simons came to the University after a distinguished career as a
practicing attorney. He has been a federal prosecutor, a criminal
defense lawyer and the staff attorney for The Washington Post.
He was appointed Dean in 2009.
What was your first career aspiration?
My father was a lawyer, and my mother was a teacher. I always
assumed I would become one or the other. I flirted with the idea of
a music career when I was an undergraduate. I was having fun
experimenting with electronic music — composing and splicing tapes
in the studio. But a combination of stage fright and lack of talent
soon put an end to that idea.
Do you remember your first day at St.
Yes, it was in June 1998. That was the day I found out that law
professors don’t wear ties in the summer — only deans do.