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SAN JOSE � Nell Jessup Newton, Hastings College of the Law’s newly appointed chancellor and dean, won’t start her new job until Aug. 1, but she’s already got an agenda. “I want to raise lots of money,” Newton, 61, said Tuesday in a phone interview from her office at the University of Connecticut School of Law, where she’s served as dean since 2000. “I am very much an external dean,” Newton added. “I think it’s important to do a lot of fundraising.” Newton said she plans to make as many friends as possible through her new job, noting how important it is to maintain a relationship between Hastings � where she graduated in 1976 � and San Francisco leaders. “I think she’s basically an all-star,” said James Mahoney, chairman of the school’s dean selection committee. “It’s very important to us that she’s a Hastings alum.” Newton will replace Mary Kay Kane, who, after 13 years, is stepping down as chancellor and dean in favor of a teaching job at Hastings. “I relish a challenge,” said Newton, who was a visiting professor at Hastings during the 1994-95 academic year. “I am not so self-confident that I don’t think I will make any mistakes.” But Newton added that members of Hastings’ faculty have already made a point of letting her know they are eager to work with her. Newton says that when she was a student at Hastings in the late ’70s, she hated the school. She said the students “felt kind of alienated by the place.” But when she did her one-year stint as a visiting professor, teaching contracts and American Indian law, Newton said she was delighted to see things had changed. “The students [now] feel very well connected to the place,” she said. Newton admits that she hadn’t been looking to leave her current position when she got a call from a member of the Hastings selection committee asking her to come out for a visit. “Our tradition here [at U-Conn] is the dean stays for 10 years. So the timing wasn’t great,” said Newton, who is halfway through her sixth year there. “We did what we could to persuade her,” said Mahoney, a partner with Los Angeles’ Mahoney Coppenrath. Mahoney said Newton very quickly rose to the top of the selection committee’s short list of candidates, and pointed to her fundraising skills and strong Bay Area ties as among the major reasons. Many on the Hastings staff already know Newton, and she also has friends in high places, such as Carol Corrigan, the First District Court of Appeal justice tapped for the state Supreme Court earlier this month. “We [are] very good buddies,” Newton says of Corrigan. A native of Michigan, Newton came to California to attend UC-Berkeley, where she received her undergraduate degree in humanities. After graduating from Hastings, Newton moved to Washington, D.C., where she was offered a job teaching legal writing at Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law. She also taught at American University before being hired to head the law school at the University of Denver. While Newton acknowledges that being a law school dean is not easy, she loves the work. “Nowadays, the law school dean has to be a major fundraiser,” Newton said. “I like it. � I have the knack for it.”

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