Stephen S. Dunham, a partner in and former chairman of the
global law firm Morrison & Foerster LLP and former chief
attorney at the University of Minnesota, has been appointed
vice president and general counsel of The Johns Hopkins
Dunham, who also has taught law students throughout most of his 36-year legal career, has represented colleges and universities across a wide spectrum of legal issues, both as in-house lawyer and outside counsel. His experience includes matters as diverse as research issues, intellectual property, employment disputes, First Amendment issues, academic freedom, accreditation, ethics, and appointments and promotions.
"Steve's passion for higher education and love of the practice of law, combined with a keen intelligence and consummate skill, have made his reputation as one of the foremost higher education attorneys in the United States," said William R. Brody, president of Johns Hopkins. Brody appointed Dunham with the approval of the executive committee of the university's board of trustees.
Dunham left private practice in 1979 to join the law faculty of the University of Minnesota Law School, became general counsel of the university in 1982 and was vice president and general counsel from 1985 to 1988. He then joined the Denver office of Morrison & Foerster, the business and litigation firm in whose San Francisco office he had previously practiced. He served the firm — which now has more than 1,000 attorneys in 19 cities on three continents — as a managing partner from 1990 to 1992. He was chairman from 1996 to 2000.
"My view is that higher education law practice is pure public interest law," Dunham said. "It covers some of the most important areas that we face as a society, obviously education, but also health, science and technology, globalization, and humanistic and democratic values.
"For a lawyer to work full-time in the public interest for an institution as pre-eminent as Johns Hopkins is a fantastic opportunity," he said.
Dunham, a native of Bloomington, Ind., grew up in Chicago, and graduated from Princeton University in 1966 and Yale Law School in 1969. He served as clerk to a federal district judge and taught at the University of California, Davis, and in Taiwan before joining Morrison & Foerster for the first time in 1972.
He is a member of the bar in California, Minnesota and Colorado. He has been a member of the board and a fellow of the National Association of College and University Attorneys, a director of the American Judicature Society, chair of the executive committee of the Colorado Lawyers' Committee, a member of the American Law Institute and a trustee of Mills College.
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