Richard Gershon Named New Dean of School of Law

OXFORD, Miss. – I. Richard Gershon, founding dean of the Charleston (S.C.) School of Law, is the new dean of the University of Mississippi School of Law. Gershon_small

Gershon’s appointment begins July 1, pending approval by the Board of Trustees of Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning. Before working at the Charleston law school, he served as dean and professor at Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, associate dean and associate professor at Stetson University College of Law, and assistant professor at Ohio Northern University College of Law.

“I am extremely pleased that Richard Gershon has agreed to serve as the next dean of the UM School of Law,” said Morris Stocks, provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs. “He is an experienced dean, a respected scholar and proven leader. His impressive record demonstrates his commitment to students, faculty, alumni and his profession.”

Alice Clark, vice chancellor for research and sponsored programs, said Gershon’s ability to build consensus and shared vision will be great assets for the law school.

“Professor Gershon brings to this position a unique combination of leadership, experience, understanding of legal education trends and issues, reputation as a legal scholar and selfless commitment to the success of students and faculty,” said Clark, who chaired the search committee that recommended Gershon for the position. “The search committee was committed to finding an outstanding dean, and we are very happy to welcome Professor Gershon to the Ole Miss community and very excited about the future of the School of Law under his leadership.”

Gershon said he is excited and humbled.

“I applied because the law school and the university both have great reputations,” Gershon said. “I was honored to have been selected.”

The incoming dean also said he is looking forward to working with law school faculty, staff, students and alumni to move the program to the next level.

“The primary mission of any law school is to prepare students for entry into the legal profession, but legal education is changing and so is the legal profession,” Gershon said. “The UM School of Law must maintain its traditions of teaching excellence, outstanding scholarly production and services to the community while adapting to these changes. It is essential for the law school to be creative and entrepreneurial so that we can provide the best professional education and training for our students and members of the profession in the 21st century.

“My responsibility to the alumni is to increase the value of their degrees by making sure that practicing lawyers, judges and the academic community know about the law school’s many accomplishments.”

Gershon helped launch the Charleston law school in 2003 and, as a professor, taught courses in estate and gift taxation, federal income taxation, professional responsibility, property I and II, wills, trusts and estates. He earned his Master of Laws degree in taxation from the University of Florida, his juris doctorate from the University of Tennessee and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia.

His awards include an honorary Doctor of Laws from the Charleston School of Law, the Alumni Leadership Award from Texas Wesleyan, and the Homer and Dollie Hand Award from Stetson. Gershon’s professional memberships include the Georgia and Florida state bars, the U.S. Tax Court, American Bar Association Curriculum Committee, the Southeastern Association of Law Schools, the Charleston Bar Pro Bono Board and Charleston Bar Tax Council.

Gershon has authored or co-authored five books, including “Wills, Trusts, and Estates: An Interactive Course” (Carolina Academic Press, 2010), “Guide to the Internal Revenue Code” (Matthew Bender, 2007, 1999, 1997, 1995 and 1988) and “International Tax Guide: United States Income Taxation” (Callaghan and Co., 1991). He has also written eight peer-reviewed journal articles and made presentations at more than a dozen professional meetings.

He has been active in the community, including service to the South Carolina Access to Justice Commission, Charleston Downtown Rotary, South Carolina Legal Services Corp., Charleston County Bar Pro Bono Inc., Boys & Girls Clubs and the Jewish Federation of Charleston.

He and his wife, the former Donna Levine, have two daughters: Claire, 11, and Eve, 9.

For more information about the UM School of Law, go to or call 662-915-7361.