Deputy District Attorney James (Jim) E. Atkins '82 has earned the distinctive title of 2012 Adjunct Professor of the Year. The announcement was made by Dean Rudy Hasl at the annual appreciation reception on April 17 to honor the practitioners who bring their professional expertise to the classroom as adjunct professors at Thomas Jefferson School of Law.
Professor Atkins, whose father also graduated from the law school, began teaching part-time at TJSL in the fall of 2011. As a Deputy D.A., he's a natural for the three courses he teaches: Evidence, California Evidence and Criminal Motion Practice.
"He does three different preparations for fairly difficult courses, and for material that is bar-tested," remarked Dean Hasl when announcing that Professor Atkins was this year's award recipient. "He has really risen to the occasion, striking the right balance between being a tough, demanding instructor but also generating very positive feedback from the students in evaluations."
"As a grad of this institution, and my father before me, I wanted to impart what I've learned, help get the bar pass rate up and help the students use this practical information to get externships and jobs," said Professor Atkins.
Dean Hasl praised all the adjuncts at TJSL, noting that they play a critical role in the educational journey and transition to the workplace. "You are engaged in the practice of law and we value the insight you contribute," he said. "You bring a relevant connection for our students."
The Dean acknowledged how adjunct professors are helping the school realize its academic goals and pointed to the accomplishments of adjunct professors such as Tim Dennison, Ross Franks and Lilys McCoy, who have proved "what great things can be achieved when you bring faculty and part-time faculty together in a creative partnership."
Professors Dennison and Franks supervise TJSL's Trademark and Patent Clinics, respectively, within the Small Business Law Center. TJSL is one of only 11 schools in the nation, and the only one in California, to have both a patent clinic and a trademark clinic that are an official part of the Law School Certification Pilot Program administered by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Professor McCoy supervises the new Center for Solo Practitioners, an incubator program for TJSL's new lawyers to help them establish practices and clients while serving members of the San Diego community who can't afford legal representation.