Karen J. Sneddon appointed dean of Mercer University School of Law

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karen sneddon in front of law school
Mercer Law Dean Karen Sneddon. Photo by Leah Yetter

MACON — Following a national search that yielded three finalists, Mercer University Provost Dr. D. Scott Davis has announced the appointment of Karen J. Sneddon as dean of the School of Law, effective immediately.

Sneddon has served as interim dean since Oct. 1, 2021, after former Dean Cathy Cox was appointed president of Georgia College and State University.

“Karen has provided effective interim leadership of Mercer Law School over the last 19 months, and I am pleased that she is formally moving into the role as dean,” Dr. Davis said. “She has been a valued member of the Law School faculty for 17 years and has developed an excellent working relationship with all of the School’s stakeholders.

“I appreciate the diligent work of the Law School Dean Search Committee, chaired by the Honorable Marc Treadwell, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia and a Mercer Law alumnus and adjunct law faculty member, in bringing forward three strong finalists. They invested many hours of work and screened dozens of qualified candidates.”

Other members of the search committee included Macon attorney, Law School alumnus and Mercer Trustee Virgil Adams; Bonnie Carlson, assistant professor of law; Jim Fleissner, professor of law; Daisy Floyd, University Professor of Law and Ethical Formation and former dean of the Law School; Katie Powers, director of advocacy and Law School alumnus; Monica Armstrong Roudil, associate professor of law; Atlanta attorney, Law School alumnus and Mercer Trustee Richard A. (Doc) Schneider; and Dr. Jean Sumner, dean of the Mercer School of Medicine.

Prior to being named interim dean, Sneddon served as professor of law and associate dean for faculty research and development. She teaches, writes, and speaks in the areas of legal writing, wills, and real estate transactions. Prior to joining the Mercer law faculty in 2006, Sneddon was a Forrester Fellow at Tulane Law School and an associate at a New York City law firm. She graduated summa cum laude from Louisiana State University and summa cum laude from Tulane Law School.

“As a member of the Mercer Law School community since 2006, I have firsthand experience of the transformative power of a Mercer Law education. We honor our longtime value of graduating practice-ready lawyers who will flourish in the legal profession as we continue to strive for the highest standards in teaching, learning, service, practice and scholarship,” Sneddon said. “In this rapidly changing legal and technological environment, we prepare students to advocate for clients in the courtroom, the conference room and beyond. Mercer Law has a legacy of success, but we are only getting started.

“I look forward to continuing to work with wonderful colleagues at the Law School and across the University to support a legacy of student, alumni, staff and faculty success,” she said.

“I am grateful for Karen Sneddon’s leadership of Mercer Law School as interim dean and look forward to working with her in the future as she guides one of the country’s first and finest law schools — a school uniquely committed to preparing students to be outstanding lawyers,” said Mercer President William D. Underwood, who also is a tenured faculty member in the Law School. “It is a school that has had an outsized influence throughout its history, having produced numerous governors, state and national legislators, judges and a U.S. attorney general, as well as thousands of excellent attorneys who have served clients around the world. I am confident that Karen will be an effective steward of the School as it charts an even brighter future.”

Mercer Law School is currently in the midst of a yearlong celebration of its 150th anniversary.

About Mercer University

Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. With approximately 9,000 students enrolled in 12 schools and colleges, on major campuses in Macon and Atlanta; medical school sites in Macon, Savannah and Columbus; and at regional academic centers in Henry and Douglas counties, Mercer is ranked among the top tier of national research universities by U.S. News & World Report. The Mercer Health Sciences Center includes the University’s School of Medicine and Colleges of Nursing, Health Professions and Pharmacy. Mercer is affiliated with five teaching hospitals – Atrium Health Navicent The Medical Center and Piedmont Macon Medical Center in Macon; Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah; and Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital and St. Francis-Emory Healthcare in Columbus. The University also has an educational partnership with Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins. It operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer Medicine, the clinical faculty practice of the School of Medicine, is based in Macon and operates additional clinics in Sumter, Peach, Clay, Putnam and Harris counties. Mercer is one of only 293 institutions nationwide to shelter a chapter of The Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s most prestigious academic honor society; one of eight institutions to hold membership in the Georgia Research Alliance; and the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. www.mercer.edu

About the School of Law

Founded in 1873, Mercer University School of Law, named for Mercer alumnus and former U.S. Senator Walter F. George, is one of the oldest law schools in the United States and the first one in the state of Georgia accredited by the American Bar Association. Mercer Law School’s educational philosophy is based on a broadly shared commitment to prepare students for the high-quality, general practice of law in a day-to-day learning environment that is both strongly supportive and consistently professional. Its innovative Woodruff Curriculum – which focuses on ethics and practical skills amid small class sizes – twice earned the Gambrell Professionalism Award from the ABA for its “depth of excellence.” With an enrollment of about 375 students, Mercer Law School is nationally recognized for its exceptional programs in legal writing, moot court, experiential education, and ethics and professionalism. For more information, visit law.mercer.edu.