St. John’s Law Welcomes Three New Faculty Members

photo of St. John's Law faculty members
November 30, 2020

Several years ago, the St. John’s Law faculty launched a bold strategic plan anchored by twin goals of academic excellence and student achievement. The plan’s success is evident across key measures: graduate employment outcomes that rank the Law School second in New York and 29th nationwide; a 96% two-year bar passage rate that is tops among New York City law schools; steadily increasing student credentials marked most recently by a 160 median LSAT and a 3.6 median GPA; sharply rising alumni engagement and support; and programs and initiatives that affirm St. John’s commitment to being an actively anti-racist institution.

An important part of the strategic plan is adding new talent to the faculty. In the last four years, St. John’s Law welcomed six full-time faculty members:

And, this year, three additional faculty members will join the full-time faculty.

Adrián E. Alvarez will join the faculty in Spring 2021 as an Assistant Professor of Law. He earned his B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin, an M.A. in Public Affairs from Princeton University, and a J.D. from American University Washington College of Law. He was a federal judicial law clerk in the Western District of Texas right out of law school. He then practiced as a plaintiffs' civil rights attorney before joining the nonprofit Children’s Law Center, where he was a staff attorney and, later, a senior staff attorney. Professor Alvarez returned to his law school alma mater as Practitioner-in-Residence in the Disability Rights Law Clinic and as an Adjunct Professor of Law. At St. John’s, he will teach Professional Responsibility, Introduction to Lawyering, and a seminar on Disability and the Law.

Seema Mohapatra comes to the full-time faculty as a Professor of Law and the founding director of St. John’s new academic center devoted to health care law. Professor Mohapatra is a nationally recognized health law scholar, with a particular focus on racism and structural inequality in the health care system. She received her undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University, her M.P.H. in epidemiology from Yale, and her J.D. from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. Following an early career in private practice, she moved to the academy as Associate Professor of Law at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, where she was named a 2019-2020 Dean’s Fellow in recognition of her outstanding scholarship. Professor Mohapatra will teach Torts and Health Law courses.

Marissa Jackson Sow joins the Law School faculty as an Assistant Professor of Law and as a Director of the Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights. She holds a B.A. from Northwestern University, a Master of Laws, with merit, from the London School of Economics, and a J.D. from Columbia University. After law school, Professor Jackson Sow clerked for judges in the Eastern District of New York and the Sixth Circuit. She then taught in the Lawyering program at NYU Law before launching a career in public service. She served as General Counsel in the New York City Mayor’s Office for International Affairs and as Deputy Commissioner for Community Relations at the New York City Commission on Human Rights. Professor Jackson Sow will be teaching Property, Introduction to Lawyering, and Civil Rights courses at St. John’s Law.

“We are excited to welcome Adrián, Marissa, and Seema to our full-time faculty,” says Dean Michael A. Simons. “The success of our graduates is what defines St. John’s Law, and that success comes from the strength of our faculty: outstanding scholars, dedicated teachers, and experienced lawyers. The nine faculty members we have added in the past four years represent our commitment to building that strength for years to come.”