The Next Perfect Step—McGeorge Welcomes its New Assistant Dean of Students

Alicia Montana Morrell

Alicia Montana Morrell returns to her work in student affairs as the new Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at McGeorge School of Law. Morrell started the student affairs part of her career at University of the Pacific earning her M.A. in Educational Administration and Leadership from the then-Benerd School of Education while working as a Residence Director for the University. 

Morrell continued her career in student affairs at University of Utah, UC San Diego, and Carleton College, before earning her J.D. and pursuing a career practicing law. 

“Working in student affairs was always something that was always fulfilling, but I needed to try something different,” Morrell said. “I knew there was a lot of overlap between the law and education, and that I could always come back to student affairs with a legal degree.” 

She packed her bags and moved from Minnesota to San Diego to earn her J.D. and begin her career practicing law. After clerking for two judges in the United States District Court’s Southern District of California, she started practicing labor and employment law. 

“Practicing law was a great experience, and I always thought I would come back to education later after a long career as a successful litigator,” Morrell said, “the COVID pandemic gave me a chance for reflection. I wasn’t actively looking to leave law practice, just exploring good opportunities for me at the universities I had great experiences at. When I saw this job at McGeorge, I knew it was the next perfect step for me. I also had taken one case to trial and won; I wanted to keep my perfect litigation record.” 

Morrell is excited to continue her career in student affairs and is looking forward to bringing her experiences practicing law and working at universities across the country to her new role. “As an attorney, one of my favorite parts of the job was doing trainings, and helping people and organizations learn to do things the right way. I think that is a very helpful skill set to have in this role and I’m looking forward to getting to put it to use at McGeorge.” 

“We are incredibly excited to have Alicia join the McGeorge community as our new Assistant Dean for Student Affairs,” said Michael Hunter Schwartz, Dean of McGeorge School of Law, “She has an incredible background practicing law and working at universities across the country. Those experiences are going to be very beneficial to our students as she helps guide them through their time at McGeorge and into their careers as attorneys.”