University of San Francisco Names Professor Susan Freiwald Interim Dean of the School of Law

SAN FRANCISCO (July 31, 2018) – The University of San Francisco (USF) has named Professor Susan Freiwald as Interim Dean of the School of Law, succeeding former Dean John Trasviña. Freiwald joined the USF School of Law faculty in 1997, and as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2017-18 she launched the Academic and Bar Exam Success Program at USF and worked to revamp the core curriculum.

“Susan brings a breadth of experience, both in academe and outside, that I believe will serve her well in her new role,” said USF Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Donald E. Heller. “She has been instrumental in the school’s curricular reforms that we instituted last fall. I have had many faculty, staff, and alumni of the school thank me for appointing Susan to the position, so I know she will have strong support.”

Freiwald’s expertise and teaching focus lies in internet law, information privacy law, criminal procedure, and contracts. She publishes and presents widely on the intersection of communications technology and law, focusing on online surveillance and the Fourth Amendment. A former software developer, Freiwald has authored and co–authored amicus briefs in major cases involving electronic surveillance laws, and her scholarly work has been cited in numerous state and federal court decisions.

“I’m deeply honored to take on the role of Interim Dean of USF’s School of Law,” said Freiwald. “Teaching instilled in me a deep sense of responsibility toward our students, something that informs every aspect of my role. I’m committed to engagement with all of our constituencies and to making positive changes at that the law school while staying true to our core mission and values.”

As a faculty member, Freiwald received the School of Law Distinguished Professor Award and served as chair of the school’s Honor, Strategic Planning, Budget, Status, Appointments, and Emergency Preparedness committees. In addition, she has served on a host of university committees, including the University Accreditation Committee and as the faculty representative on the USF Board of Trustees Development Committee from 2006–2014.

Freiwald has been recognized for her leadership in securing landmark privacy legislation passed in California in 2015, and serves on several advisory boards in the fields of privacy and cybersecurity. She regularly assists the Electronic Frontier Foundation with electronic surveillance litigation efforts and has served on the board of the Northern California American Civil Liberties Union.

Freiwald is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College where she majored in economics and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She earned her JD from Harvard Law School, magna cum laude, where she served as Books and Commentaries co-chair of the Harvard Law Review. She started her academic career as a faculty member at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

Freiwald assumed the position of interim dean on July 1, 2018. Her term runs through August 2020.

About the School of Law

Founded in 1912, the University of San Francisco School of Law has a tradition of educating effective lawyers who graduate with the professional skills and theoretical foundation necessary to succeed in the legal profession. The USF School of Law offers a rigorous education with a global perspective in a diverse, supportive community. Our graduates are skilled, ethical professionals prepared for any legal career — from intellectual property law to litigation and more — with a commitment to social justice as their enduring foundation. The USF School of Law offers full- and part-time Juris Doctor programs that empower students to develop their analytical abilities, master legal writing and research skills, acquire a firm foundation of basic law, explore an array of specialties, and refine their professional legal skills in practical settings. The law school also offers Master of Laws (LLM) programs in Taxation, Intellectual Property and Technology Law, and International Transactions and Comparative Law (for foreign lawyers), and a Master of Legal Studies in Taxation (MLST) for non-lawyers. The USF School of Law is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.

About the University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco is located in the heart of one of the world’s most innovative and diverse cities and is home to a vibrant academic community of students and faculty who achieve excellence in their fields. Its diverse student body enjoys direct access to faculty, small classes, and outstanding opportunities in the city itself. USF is San Francisco’s first university, and its Jesuit Catholic mission helps ignite a student’s passion for social justice and a desire to “Change the World From Here.” For more information, visit