USD President and School of Law Alumni Honored in San Diego Business Journal’s Inaugural SD 50 Recognizing Extraordinary Leadership

SD 50

SAN DIEGO (July 2, 2020) – University of San Diego’s (USD) fourth president James T. Harris III, DEd, along with three USD School of Law alumni, were among those recognized in the San Diego Business Journal’s inaugural SD 50 issue highlighting “50 of San Diego’s most influential leaders who have made a significant difference during these unprecedented times.”

Fifth-year USD President Harris was recognized for “leading USD’s collaboration with county leaders to establish USD as a free COVID-19 testing site. It’s an action centered around supporting underserved and underrepresented populations in the local community.”

Harris said this in a mini-profile within the publication, “Times like these can produce feelings of hopelessness, but they can also give us hope for humanity as we see people take extraordinary measures to be of service to others.”

The three USD law alumni on the SD50 and their respective impact during COVID-19 include: John D. Alessio, ’91 (BA), ’94 (JD); Larry Nishnick,’98 (JD); and Ronson Shamoun, ’98 (BA), ’02 (JD), ’03 (LLM).

Alessio, managing partner of Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves, and Savitch LLP, has been praised for “protecting the health of over 350 attorneys and staff by shifting them to remote work, making the transition look seamless. He recognized the economic threat faced by clients and worked meet their needs.”

USD School of Law lauded Procopio and Alessio’s efforts in an April 2, news release titled, Law Firm Challenge Participant Procopio Shifts Forward in Response to COVID-19: Managing Partner John D. Alessio ’91 (BA), ’94 (JD) Shares Multidisciplinary Resources. Read full article.

Nishnick, a corporate and securities partner at DLA Piper LLP, was recognized as “part of the national DLA task force assigned with assisting clients with the CARES Act programs including advising and counseling on available government programs such as the Main Street lending program and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).”

Shamoun, CEO and principal attorney of RJS Law, and a member of the law school’s Board of Visitors, “owns several commercial properties throughout San Diego. Many of his tenants were immensely affected by COVID. In an effort to assist his tenants, Shamoun waived rent payments for many months in an effort to help them stay in business and keep their heads above water.”

Shamoun was also “able to acquire a large amount of hand sanitizer when it was scarce. He donated several boxes to nonprofits throughout the community.  One of them being the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO), a local nonprofit organization that gives jobs to hundreds of people who were formerly incarcerated.”

Read the USD news release, Read the San Diego Business Journal announcement, and View the entire San Diego Business Journal 50 Making a Difference special issue.  

About the University of San Diego School of Law

Each year, USD educates approximately 800 Juris Doctor and graduate law students from throughout the United States and around the world.  The law school is best known for its offerings in the areas of business and corporate law, constitutional law, intellectual property, international and comparative law, public interest law and taxation.

USD School of Law is one of the 84 law schools elected to the Order of the Coif, a national honor society for law school graduates.  The law school’s faculty is a strong group of outstanding scholars and teachers with national and international reputations and currently ranks 36th nationally among U.S. law faculties in scholarly impact and 22nd nationally in past-year faculty downloads on the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN). The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949.


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