Steve Kaminshine, dean, Georgia State University College of Law
Steve Kaminshine, dean, Georgia State University College of Law (Photo by Caroline Joe/ Georgia State University College of Law.)

The dean of Georgia State University’s law school, Steven Kaminshine, will step down this summer and return to teaching after 12 years in the role, the school announced.

GSU College of Law has tapped Wendy Hensel, associate dean for research and faculty development, as interim dean for the 2017-2018 academic year while the university conducts a search for a new dean to start the following year.

GSU’s associate provost for faculty affairs, Kavita Pandit, and the dean of the Robinson College of Business, Richard Phillips, are co-chairing the national search.

That means two Atlanta law schools are on the market for new deans. The dean of Emory University Law School, Robert Schapiro, announced in March that he will step down this summer and return to teaching. Emory will conduct its own dean search during the upcoming academic year.

Kaminshine said in the announcement it is “time for this great college to grow with the benefit of a new set of eyes and fresh ideas—building on what we have accomplished. I am not retiring but simply stepping down to rededicate myself to teaching and writing.”

“Wendy is a special talent who has distinguished herself through her leadership in overseeing the program for faculty development and research,” Kaminshine added. “The college will be in great hands while it moves forward in the upcoming academic year.”

Prior to her academic career, Hensel was an associate at Alston & Bird and clerked for Judge Orinda Evans in U.S. District Court. She served as an intern at the U.S. Supreme Court. Hensel graduated from Michigan State University and earned her JD at Harvard Law School. Her research interests include disability, education, employment and tort law.

“For the past 12 years, Steve Kaminshine has served with great distinction and helped position the college nationally as an up-and-coming regional school,” said Risa Palm, Georgia State’s provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

GSU Law opened its long-awaited new building under his tenure and raised almost $30 million, including $12 million for the building, which opened in 2015.

It added six legal clinics under Kaminshine’s leadership: the HeLP Legal Services Clinic, Investor Advocacy Clinic, Olmstead Disability Rights Clinic with Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Landlord-Tenant Mediation Clinic, Capital Defender Clinic and a volunteer clinic for veterans.

In 2015, the college opened the Atlanta Center for International Arbitration and Mediation to handle international commercial dispute mediations, the first arbitration center affiliated with a major university.

The college also has added four research centers, the Center for Heath, Law & Society, the Center for the Comparative Study of Metropolitan Growth, the Center for Access to Justice and the Center for Intellectual Property.

Kaminshine joined GSU Law in 1985 and is one of its longest-serving faculty members. He was associate dean for academic affairs from 1996 to 2004.