Assistant Dean for Admissions
Michelle Adorno joined the Levin College of Law as assistant dean for admissions last summer. She comes to the college from New York University School of Law, where she served as director of admissions since 1998 and was instrumental in establishing the school’s An-Bryce Scholarship Program, which assists as many as 10 first-generation graduate students from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds.
Adorno said she wants to use her experience as director of admissions and recruitment at NYU Law to continue UF Law’s tradition of attracting high-caliber students and hopes to gain the interest of applicants and admitted students who may not have considered UF Law as an option.
“I want to explore unconventional ways to reach these students,” Adorno said. “I believe we can accomplish this by tapping into the talent of our law school community and exploring new ways of looking at recruitment and enrollment management.”
Adorno earned both her undergraduate and Juris Doctor from Cornell University. After graduating from law school, she joined the New York offices of Kelley, Drye and Warren, where she worked as a litigation associate. From 1994-1998 she served as assistant director of admissions and later director of recruitment at St. John’s University School of Law in New York. She has served on the Law School Admissions Council’s (LSAC) Misconduct and Irregularities in the Admissions Process Subcommittee, the LSAC Diversity Initiatives Committee and as the chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Pre-Legal Education and Admission to Law School.
Adorno said she has been impressed by the genuine feeling of community and cohesiveness at UF Law.
“Students, faculty and staff seem to really care about each other and are very committed to working together to contribute to a thriving and happy environment,” Adorno said. “I am excited about the future of UF Law and look forward to making my contribution toward its continued success.”
CRAIG ANTHONY “TONY” ARNOLD
Huber Hurst Visiting Eminent Scholar, Fall 2009
C. Anthony “Tony” Arnold joined the UF Law faculty as the Huber Hurst Visiting Eminent Scholar. During the fall 2009 semester Arnold taught water law and natural resources law. Arnold came to UF from the University of Louisville School of Law where he is a professor of law and the Boehl Chair in Property and Land Use. He is also an affiliate professor for the Children, Youth and Environments Center for Research and Design at the University of Colorado.
After graduating with the highest distinction in political science and history at the University of Kansas, Arnold went on to earn his law degree from Stanford Law School. He then clerked for the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, was an associate in private practice and has served as an adjunct, visiting professor, teaching fellow, and professor at Trinity University, University of Puerto Rico School of Law, Stanford Law School, University of Wyoming College of Law, Chapman University School of Lawand University of Cincinnati.
JUDD F. SNEIRSON
Visiting Professor, Fall 2009-Spring 2010
Judd F. Sneirson has joined the UF Law faculty as a visiting professor teaching corporations and business organizations during the fall 2009 semester and corporations, sustainability and corporate governance in spring 2010. Sneirson comes to UF from the University of Oregon School of Law, where he is an assistant professor teaching courses on business associations, corporate governance, contracts, and employment law.
After graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in political science, Sneirson went on to earn his Juris Doctor and graduated cum laude at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He then taught English in Japan, clerked for a U.S. district judge, was an associate in private practice, and a visiting professor at Willamette University College of Law.
DEBRA K. STAATS
Assistant Dean for Administrative Affairs
Debra K. Staats, a certified public accountant, comes to UF by way of the Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy, where she was vice president for administration and finance. In that position she served as chief financial offi cer of the institution and provided leadership and oversight for functional areas of accounting and purchasing, budget and business services, campus operations, human resources and information technology. Before her departure from Northeastern Ohio, Staats led a comprehensive strategic planning effort for the institution where everything from the fiscal to the physical was evaluated.
“We worked with the students, faculty and staff to develop a 10-year facilities master plan,” Staats said. “The year-long effort allowed us to look at every aspect of the institution. It was challenging, and very rewarding.”
Staats said her first priority in her new role at UF Law is to get a handle on how the college does business. “It will take some time, but I want to make sure that we are making efficient decisions and are not bound to a process,” Staats said. “We have to be vigilant and ask, ‘is
there a better way?’”
Staats said she is looking forward to becoming a part of the Gator Nation.
“There is so much activity on campus, you can really feel the energy,” Staats said. “It’s exciting. ”
JOHN F. STINNEFORD
John F. Stinneford has joined the UF Law faculty as an assistant professor of law teaching criminal procedure and federal criminal law. Prior to joining UF, he was an associate and assistant professor at the Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville, Fla., a visiting professor of law at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis, Minn., an assistant professor of lawyering skills at the University of Dayton School of Law, Dayton, Ohio, and an assistant director of the I.J. Clinic on Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago Law School.
After graduating with highest distinction in English literature from the University of Virginia, Stinneford went on to earn a Master of Arts in English and American literature and language from Harvard University. After earning his law degree from Harvard Law School, Stinneford clerked with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois then practiced criminal law for several years, first in private practice, and then as assistant United States attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
“I am excited to join the University of Florida Levin College of Law,” said Stinneford. “This is not simply an excellent law school at a world-class university; it is also a real community of scholars, where I will constantly be challenged and encouraged. I couldn’t be happier.”
While at UF, Stinneford’s scholarship will focus on the historical underpinnings of the Eighth Amendment’s cruel and unusual punishments clause. He will also examine the due process clause of the Fifth and Fourth amendments.
Visiting Legal Skills Professor
Ray taught legal research & writing last semester, and is teaching appellate advocacy in this spring. Ray graduated from Harvard Law School in 2004. After law school, she worked as a litigation associate at Morrison & Foerster LLP in San Francisco. In 2006, Ray moved to Philadelphia, Penn., to clerk for the Hon. Anita B. Brody. After her clerkship, she joined the staff attorneys offi ce for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, where she worked primarily on immigration, habeas corpus and civil rights matters.
Assistant Director for Career Development
Birrenkott oversees career education programs and administers the 1L initiatives in the Center for Career Development, including the 1L resume tutorial and shadow program. He serves as one of the primary career counselors to first year students. Birrenkott, who earned his B.A. in government and world affairs from the University of Tampa and his JD from the University of Florida Levin College of Law, is a member of The Florida Bar. He practiced law in Tampa with a focus on environmental (water resource), government and business law and has taught as an adjunct professor.