Faculty & Program Team
Seattle University School of Law is home to an outstanding faculty of committed teacher-scholars. Our professors do not choose between scholarship and teaching, but rather are experts in their fields who are drawn to share their knowledge with students. Our online programs are no different. With faculty committed to the success of our students and founded on Jesuit tradition, our educators challenge students to think clearly, think for themselves, and encourage them to test commonly accepted knowledge. Our faculty believes academic curiosity becomes a lifelong habit, and we build our programs on this belief. The strength and dedication of our faculty is one of our strongest assets. Each and every course and program at Seattle University is designed with the strongest academic team, whether on campus or online.
Academic Program Team
Graduate Law Programs Administration
Linda J. Hiemer is the Senior Director of Graduate Law Programs for Seattle University School of Law (SU). She oversees campus and online programs. Prior to joining SU, Linda served as the Faculty Director of Online Learning and as an Associate Professor of Law at Vermont Law School (VLS). In her roles at VLS, Linda was responsible for all academic components of the law school’s online and blended JD, LLM, and graduate programs.
In addition, Linda was founder and executive director of a consulting and innovative solutions company, VP of Academic Affairs at FORTIS Institute (academic administration and operations for online programs), VP of Academic Affairs at the University of the Rockies, and Dean of Curriculum with Concord Law School. She received her BA in History (with Honors) from Lafayette College and her JD from the Dickinson School of Law, Penn State University. She began her career as a practicing attorney in Anchorage, AK, and since then she has spent nearly 20 years designing, developing, assessing, and managing online, campus-based, and blended programs at the legal, doctoral, and graduate levels. Linda is excited about our fully online MLS degree in Compliance and Risk Management and looks forward to helping students achieve their academic and professional goals. She encourages others to not refer to online learning as “distance learning.” She notes, “There’s nothing ‘distant’ about it; it’s just learning!”
Liz Guinn is the Program Assistant for Graduate Law Programs at Seattle University School of Law. Prior to joining the SU Law staff in 2015, Liz was community news editor at the Idaho Falls Post Register newspaper, and previously worked in communications and marketing for Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Liz received her BA from the University of Mary Washington. In addition to Graduate Law Programs, Liz serves as the assistant for the Access to Justice Institute, the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality, and the Center for Indian Law and Policy.
Program Faculty/Subject Matter Experts
Mark Chinen is a Professor of Law at Seattle University School of Law and a Fellow of the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality. He was educated at Pomona College and Yale Divinity School before receiving his law degree from Harvard Law School. Before he began law teaching, Professor Chinen practiced in the areas of international trade, banking and corporate and securities law in Washington D.C. with the firm Covington & Burling. Professor Chinen teaches contracts and courses in international law and writes on various aspects of international law, particularly international governance, theology and international law, and the relationship between domestic and international law. He was the inaugural William C. Oltman Professor of Teaching Excellence from 2007 to 2010.
Alana DeGarmo has worked as an Assistant Dean of Students, Director of Legal Writing, Professor of Law, and Advisor in her 20 years as a legal educator in undergraduate, graduate, JD, and LLM programs. She practiced law in California and worked on a number of high profile cases, including death penalty cases. She has taught Advanced Criminal Procedure, Legal Analysis and Writing, Legal Research, Real Property, and writing skills in those courses as well as in Torts, Contracts, Criminal Law, Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, and Evidence.
Alana also specializes in online curriculum development and assessment, and has served as a subject matter expert in numerous courses for online curriculum for over twelve years. She was a legal editor for PMBR’s Multistate Bar Review and a contributor to PMBR’s Exam Skills Workbook. She was Law Review Editor-in-Chief at the University of La Verne College of Law, where she graduated cum laude. Alana is a licensed real estate broker and a former officer in the U.S. Air Force.
Alana says, “An MLS in Compliance and Risk Management gives students an edge in numerous professional fields, including corporate, medical, and government environments.”
John B. Kirkwood is a Professor of Law at Seattle University School of Law and a member of the American Law Institute. He is a Senior Fellow of the American Antitrust Institute, an Adviser to the Institute of Consumer Antitrust Studies, and sits on the Executive Committee of the Antitrust and Economic Regulation Section of the Association of American Law Schools. The Supreme Court has quoted him, he won the Jerry S. Cohen Award for the best antitrust scholarship of 2012, and he has been published over forty times. He speaks frequently at antitrust conferences and consults and testifies on antitrust cases. He was a Co-Editor of Research in Law and Economics for eight years. He has testified before Congress and at the hearings on predatory pricing held by the FTC and the Justice Department. The New York Times, USA Today, and many other print and broadcast media have quoted him. After graduating from Yale magna cum laude and with Honors of Exceptional Distinction in Economics, he received a master’s degree in public policy and a law degree from Harvard, both with honors. He directed the Planning Office, the Evaluation Office, and the Premerger Notification Program at the FTC’s Bureau of Competition in Washington, D.C. and later managed cases and investigations at the Northwest Regional Office. At Seattle University, he has received the Outstanding Faculty Award and the Dean’s Medal.
Adam Star, graduate from the class of 2016, has held a number of positions in corporate management throughout his career. Adam has been employed at Amazon since 2012 and worked concurrently to complete his JD as a student in Seattle University School of Law’s evening program. Adam’s current position is at Amazon Web Services on the Security Obligations and Contracts team. The team’s mission is to lead security- and compliance-focused contractual negotiations (globally across the public and private sector) and serve as liaisons between the AWS Security and Legal teams. His daily focus involves working with customers and their regulators within the Finance, Healthcare, Energy, and Media industries to drive adoption of the AWS Cloud for regulated workloads.
Adam has experience with numerous international regulations and standards pertaining to cloud compliance, including SOC, ISO, PCI, HIPAA, FedRAMP, PIPEDA (Canada), IRAP (Australia), the GDPR, and the European Banking Authority’s Guidelines on Outsourcing.
Adam is an active member of the Washington State Bar. While at Seattle University, Adam graduated Magna Cum Laude and was awarded the full tuition Adolf A. Berle, Jr. scholarship in Corporations, Law & Society, He served as the Business and Marketing Editor of the Seattle University Law Review and published an article, Getting a Handle on Growler Laws, 39 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 1079 (2016), He was also elected graduation class speaker. Adam holds a BS in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University.
Adam says, “Seattle University School of Law has a close-knit campus community that understands professionals’ schedules and allows you to work while earning your degree. In addition, faculty have experience with and connections to major local corporations such as Microsoft and Starbucks.”
Rashelle Tanner, graduate from the class of 1998, leads Microsoft’s global anti-corruption and business conduct training programs designed to empower employees to make decisions with integrity. Her award-winning Standards of Business Conduct course is delivered annually, has been translated into 17 languages, and is required learning for Microsoft’s 130,000 employees, subsidiaries, and board of directors.
Previously, Rashelle was SVP, General Counsel, and Chief Compliance Officer for CRISTA, operating in long-term care, international relief and development, media broadcasting, and education. Rashelle began her practice at Williams Kastner as an employment defense litigator and interned at the Washington State Court of Appeals.
Rashelle is a Momentum A.C.E.S. advisory board member, exploring anti-bribery, anti-corruption, international trade, and sanctions compliance, and earned the Inaugural Faces of A.C.E.S. Award for Championing Diversity in Compliance Innovation. Rashelle earned her JD from Seattle University School of Law and her BA from Howard University. She is a graduate of Leadership Tomorrow and has been admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States.
Rashelle says, “People who work in compliance and risk management are the guardians of their organizations. These roles will always be needed, especially in the uncharted technological landscape.”
John Torres grew up on a farm in Colorado before joining the Navy as an aviation electronics technician. He received an AS in Technology while in the Navy. In 1989, he joined Boeing as a machinist, finishing his bachelor’s degree before entering law school at University of Washington in 1993. Upon receiving his JD in 1996, John was immediately hired back at Boeing, first spending three years as a Corporate Tax Manager and then three years as a Senior Contracts Negotiator. During his second stint at Boeing, he completed an MBA in Finance in 1998. He witnessed significant training given to non-lawyers on legal vernacular, risk, and compliance in his departments and believes an MLS will provide immediate leadership leverage in a corporate environment. John jumped at the chance to help define and deploy Seattle U Law’s online MLS, a program he considers to be on the leading edge.
John attained the designation of Professor and Principal Faculty at City University of Seattle, where he was honored as Distinguished Faculty and received the President’s Award for Teaching Excellence. His online and in-person teaching has extended internationally, including CBIT–China, CETYS–Mexico, the Banking Academy of Vietnam, and the University of Southern Queensland, Australia. When not teaching, John served as a pro tem judge in several courts, including King County District Court, and is currently an arbitrator in King County Superior Court.
John says, “The top trait of a compliance management professional is intellectual resiliency, also a top trait for an MLS student. Compliance and Risk Management are dynamic areas to work in, can be policy affected, and may require processes difficult to memorialize. Large corporations may be too compartmentalized for on-the-job training to adequately provide overarching strategy to tactical knowledge. An MLS from Seattle U Law may be the perfect opportunity to bridge the natural corporate silos of disciplinary unique knowledge.”
Stephanie Wilson is the head of Reference Services in the Seattle University School of Law Library. Prior to coming to Seattle University, Ms. Wilson was a reference librarian at Willkie, Farr and Gallagher, New York; a staff attorney with the Legal Aid Juvenile Rights Division in New York City; and an attorney in the Legal Counsel’s Office of New York City. She teaches legal research in numerous settings, including her own legal research course for upper division law students and her course for MLS students. Ms. Wilson frequently speaks at national conferences about integrating legal research instruction into existing experiential courses. She was an associate editor of Sexual Orientation and the Law: A Research Bibliography Selectively Annotating the Legal Literature Through 2005, published by Hein in 2006. Ms. Wilson joined the faculty in 2001.
Stephanie says, “SU Law faculty are deeply engaged in their areas of expertise and deeply committed to teaching. Their commitment allows our teaching to move past traditional legal education and instead integrate theory and doctrine with skills to teach law the way it is encountered in practice.”
Application DeadlineNovember 30 Spring 2021 Term
Next StartJanuary 11 Spring 2021 Term
“An MLS in Compliance and Risk Management gives students an edge in numerous professional fields, including corporate, medical, and government environments.”
— Alana DeGarmo, MLS Academic Team, Assistant Dean of Students, Director of Legal Writing, Professor of Law, and Advisor
“Seattle University School of Law has a close-knit campus community that understands professionals’ schedules and allows you to work while earning your degree. In addition, faculty have experience with and connections to major local corporations such as Microsoft and Starbucks.”
— Adam Star, MLS Academic Team, Amazon Web Services on the Security Obligations and Contracts Team
“People who work in compliance and risk management are the guardians of their organizations. These roles will always be needed, especially in the uncharted technological landscape.”
— Rashelle Tanner, MLS Academic Team, Microsoft’s Global Anti-Corruption and Business Conduct Training programs
“The top trait of a compliance management professional is intellectual resiliency, also a top trait for an MLS student. Compliance and Risk Management are dynamic areas to work in, can be policy affected, and may require processes difficult to memorialize. Large corporations may be too compartmentalized for on-the-job training to adequately provide overarching strategy to tactical knowledge. An MLS from Seattle U Law may be the perfect opportunity to bridge the natural corporate silos of disciplinary unique knowledge.”
—John Torres, MLS Academic Team
“SU Law faculty are deeply engaged in their areas of expertise and deeply committed to teaching. Their commitment allows our teaching to move past traditional legal education and instead integrate theory and doctrine with skills to teach law the way it is encountered in practice.”
— Stephanie Wilson, MLS Academic Team, Head of Reference Services in the SeattleU School of Law Library