VLS students have great intellectual curiosity and a strong interest in public service—in using the law to make the world a better place.”
Vice Dean for Academic Affairs
Gil Kujovich was already a veteran of government law and policy work when he decided to teach. “I visited a number of fine law schools, but realized when I came to VLS, ‘This school is different. This is where I’d like to work.’” Nearly 30 years of teaching have proven him right. “VLS has the right atmosphere for quality education,” he says. “It’s demanding, but not cutthroat. Law school can be a difficult educational experience, but it doesn’t have to be an unpleasant one.”
Kujovich—whose VLS courses include Constitutional Law, Civil Rights Law, and Federal Courts—has both broad and deep experience in these areas. After graduating magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, he clerked first for Ninth Circuit Judge Shirley Hufstedler and then for Supreme Court Justices Potter Stewart and Byron White. After clerking, he served as special assistant to the Defense Department General Counsel and as counsel to the Intelligence Oversight Board in President Jimmy Carter's White House. When Hufstedler was appointed the first secretary of education, Kujovich signed on as her assistant. It was during his Washington years that he developed a lifelong interest in race and education. “At the Department of Education, I worked on the desegregation of state colleges and universities in the segregationist states; immersion in these issues naturally led me into civil rights and affirmative action work.”
Kujovich’s own experience as an educator remains deeply fulfilling. “While my work in the government was always challenging and sometimes even satisfying, teaching students is what I love most,” he says. “VLS students have great intellectual curiosity and a strong interest in public service—in using the law to make the world a better place.”
In his new role as vice dean for academic affairs, Kujovich looks forward to fostering the continued development of the school’s excellent legal writing program and its many experiential and international programs. He considers study abroad invaluable for 21st century lawyers, and feels that students should also set their sights on judicial clerkships. “Clerkships can be the capstone of a legal education,” he says. “You learn how to fashion an argument and how to deal with judges. You hone your legal research and analysis, and you do so in a context that’s a great deal of fun.”
Speaking of fun, Kujovich unwinds by reading mysteries and satisfying his inner “political junkie” with news in all different media.