Faculty

Susan W. Tiefenbrun is a Professor of Law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Professor Tiefenbrun has a J.D. degree from New York University School of Law, a Ph.D in French from Columbia University summa cum laude, a Master of Science from Wisconsin University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Wisconsin University (Phi Beta Kappa as a junior) where she majored in French, Russian, and Education. Professor Tiefenbrun taught French language and literature for many years in Columbia University and Sarah Lawrence College. She now teaches international law in Thomas Jefferson School of Law where she is the Director of the Center for Global Legal Studies and the founding Director of the LL.M. Programs in International Trade and in American Legal Studies. She practiced law and worked on international business transactions at Coudert Brothers in New York for many years. At Thomas Jefferson School of Law, she continues to direct and teach in the study abroad program in France (which she founded twenty-three years ago) and in China (which she founded ten years ago). For her efforts at fostering educational and cultural cooperation between France and the United States, she was awarded the French Legion of Honor medal by President Jacques Chirac in 2003. Her special interests are international law, corporate law, securities law, international intellectual property, women and international human rights law, and law and literature. She is the President of the Law and Humanities Institute West Coast Branch. She has written extensively on human trafficking as a form of contemporary slavery. She speaks ten foreign languages including Mandarin, Chinese. Among her numerous written works are a book-length study of Chinese, Russian and Eastern European joint venture laws and numerous articles on international intellectual property, international law issues, and human trafficking. She has edited three books on law and the arts, war crimes, and legal ethics. Her most recent books are Decoding International Law: Semiotics and the Humanities (Oxford Press, 2010), Women’s International and Comparative Human Rights (Carolina Academic Press, 2012) and Tax-Free-Trade Zones of the World and in the United States (Edward Elgar Press, 2012). The courses Professor Tiefenbrun teaches include: Business Associations, European Union Law, International Business Transactions, International Human Rights, International Law and the Humanities, Securities Law, and Women and International Human Rights Law.

Ben Templin  Prior to joining the faculty in 2003, Professor Templin was a corporate attorney at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati where his practice focused on general corporate law for early stage technology companies. Following graduation from the University of California, Boalt Hall School of Law, Professor Templin taught Legal Methods to undergraduates at the University of California, Berkeley. His web site provides instruction in how to study and prepare for law school exams. Before going to law school, Professor Templin was an editor in computer magazine publishing.

Professor Templin has published a series of law review articles on Social Security reform and government investment in private enterprise. The courses Professor Templin teaches include: Contracts, International Intellectual Property, and Administrative Law.

Maurice Dyson Following graduation from Columbia Law School as a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, Professor Dyson practiced law with the firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett where he specialized in mergers and acquisitions, securities and leverage buyouts valued at approximately $166 billion. Professor Dyson has also participated in the landmark school finance litigation and in federal civil rights enforcement cases as the Special Projects team attorney for the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) where he was recognized for his work in inter-district funding cases. A member of the Bar of the U.S Supreme Court, he has also served as the national chairperson of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Section on Education Law, the national executive board member of the AALS Section of Minority Groups, and a program coordinator of the Merrill Lynch Philanthropic Foundation recognized by the White House. In addition, he has served as educational policy adviser to the Texas State Legislature Joint Select Committee on Public School Finance, and has taught law on the faculties of Columbia University, the City University of New York, and Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.

Professor Dyson is the recipient of numerous awards including the prestigious King's Crown Award, the Kluge Award, the Albert Roothbert Endowment, the Lester A. and Stella Porter Russell Endowment, the Society of the Order of the Barristers, the Taft Samuel Carpenter Award for Teaching Excellence, and the 50 under 50 most influential law professors national list. Professor Dyson has also published Our Promise, a new book analyzing educational policy and numerous articles in education, civil rights, game theory, government, constitutional law, sociology and critical race theory among others. He is also the faculty co-founder of the Crawford Legal Institute Mentorship Bond (CLIMB) program, an educational pipeline mentorship initiative with Crawford High School that recently won the California State Bar Diversity Award for Excellence. The courses Professor Dyson teaches include: Education Equality and The Law, Torts I & II, Global Justice, Self-Determination & the Law, and Scholarly Legal Writing.

Steve Berenson Following graduation from law school, where he served as Trial Operations Director of the Harvard Defenders, Professor Berenson clerked for Justice Edith W. Fine of the Massachusetts Appeals Court. He then spent more than five years as an Assistant Massachusetts Attorney General, where he focused on civil litigation in the areas of administrative, constitutional and consumer protection law. During that time, Professor Berenson also served as a Supreme Court Fellow with the National Association of Attorneys General. He then spent two years as a teaching fellow in Harvard Law School’s Lawyering Program, while at the same time earning an LL.M. degree. Professor Berenson spent four years at Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad Law Center, teaching in the school’s Lawyering Skills and Values Program and its Children and Family Law Clinic, in addition to teaching traditional courses in Professional Responsibility and Elder Law.

He has published articles on topics including attorney professional role, access to justice and clinic legal education in journals such as the Fordham Law Review, the Boston College Law Review, the San Diego Law Review, the Rutgers Law Journal and the Elder Law Journal. Professor Berenson is a member of the state bars of Massachusetts, Florida and California.

The courses Professor Berenson teaches include Family Law, Professional Responsibility, and Veterans Legal Assistance Clinic.