News & Media

Thomas Jefferson School of Law Remembers Marybeth Herald

Published: August 31, 2018
Marybeth Herald

(PRLEAP.COM) PRLeap.Com – August 31, 2018 - It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Professor of Law Marybeth Herald on August 27, 2018. Professor Herald was a member of the Thomas Jefferson community for over 25 years, from 1991 until 2018. She served as Associate Dean from 1994 to 2002, giving her the distinction of being the longest serving Associate Dean in the law school's history.

Professor Herald's legacy is reflected in the milestones achieved while she was a member of the law school administration. During her service, the law school separated from its former parent institution, Western State University College of Law, earned both provisional and full ABA approval, and converted to a nonprofit institution. "Her commitment to excellence, wise counsel and selfless dedication were absolutely indispensable to this profound transformation of the law school," said Professor Ken Vandevelde, who was Dean and President of the Law School at the time.

Beyond those accomplishments, she was a beloved teacher and a respected scholar, authoring numerous articles on constitutional law and cognitive bias as well as an innovative book, Your Brain and Law School (Carolina Academic Press 2014). She was also the author of the blog Your Brain, Law School, and Law Practice. Her friends, colleagues and students will long remember her for her incisive intellect, her moral strength, her personal warmth, and her keen and unwavering sense of humor.

Professor Herald was a graduate of Harvard Law School. Following law school, she clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, served the public as a lawyer for Micronesian Legal Services, and then opened her own firm on the island of Saipan with her husband, Joel Bergsma. Professor Herald is survived by her husband, her children Brendan and Sarah, and her sister Joyce Herald.