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Geoffrey Mearns, a partner at the Baker & Hostetler law firm, will become the new dean of the law school at Cleveland State University.
Mearns, 45, of Shaker Heights, will replace Steven Steinglass, who announced in May that he was stepping down as dean of the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Mearns' appointment takes effect July 11.
Steinglass will take a year off before returning to the law school faculty.
Mearns said he was attracted to the CSU post because of the university's key role in Northeast Ohio and the law school's particu lar importance to the legal community.
He said he sup ports the plan crafted under Stein- glass' leadership to improve students' performance on the bar exam.
Mearns said he also wants to ensure that the curriculum keeps pace with developments in the legal profession, enhance career opportunities for graduates and boost the law school's national reputation.
In addition, the new dean expects to be active in raising private money to support the law school.
Mearns has an undergraduate degree from Yale University and earned his law degree from the University of Virginia. He was a federal prosecutor for nine years, including work on the Oklahoma City bombing case.
He returned to Cleveland in 1998 and joined Baker & Hostetler in 2002. He leads the firm's Business Crimes and Corporate Investigations team.
Mearns and his wife, Jennifer, have five children.