Gary Bledsoe named TMSL interim dean

TMSL Interim Dean Gary Bledsoe

Texas Southern University has announced that former Texas Southern University Regent Gary Bledsoe will assume the role of interim dean at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law. Bledsoe will lead the law school through its American Bar Association compliance requirements. Bledsoe will assume his new position November 1.

“We are very fortunate to have Gary Bledsoe assume the role of interim dean,” said TSU President Austin A. Lane. “I am looking forward to working with Dean Bledsoe and his new team to advance the storied mission of the Thurgood Marshall School of Law.”

Attorney Bledsoe specializes in public interest law, employment and civil rights law. He is president of the Texas NAACP and has held that position since being elected in 1991. He has a longstanding relationship with the NAACP as a member of its National Board since 2003 and is chair of the National Criminal Justice Committee of the NAACP. He earned his bachelor’s and juris doctorate degrees from the University of Texas at Austin.

Bledsoe has received lawyer of the year awards from the Texas Attorney General, the Travis County Bar Association, the national and Austin chapters of the NAACP, and the Austin Area Urban League. He is a member of the Houston Hall of Fame at Riverside General Hospital. He has earned an AV rating from the prestigious legal publicationMartindale-Hubbell, the second-highest rating available for lawyers. His work with the NAACP included handling racial discrimination complaints against the Austin Department of Public Safety that resulted in people of color being admitted into the Texas Rangers and system-wide changes in the Austin Police Department surrounding the handling of police abuse cases. Bledsoe negotiated a program with HEB that provides $25,000 in scholarships for students at Texas Southern, Prairie View A&M and Huston-Tillotson universities.

Professor Marcia Johnson will serve as Special Assistant to the Dean and will assist acting Dean Bledsoe in the transition. Professor Johnson has been serving TMSL as co-founder and director of the new Urban Research and Resource Center, an interdisciplinary collaboration with TSU’s School of Public Affairs, and was a former interim dean of the law school. Professor Cassandra Hill will assist both Bledsoe and Professor Johnson in the administration of the law school.

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