Announced on October 12, 2020
Sherry Leysen, who has been with the Chapman University Fowler School of Law since 2014, began a new role as Director of the Hugh and Hazel Darling Law Library and Assistant Professor of Law on August 10, taking over for the library’s long-serving director, Professor Linda Kawaguchi, following her retirement August 7.
During her eight-year tenure as director, Kawaguchi oversaw a transformation of the Darling Law Library that reinforced the law school’s mission to provide hands-on legal education to students, expanding resources to help train students in vital scholarly and legal research skills. In addition, under Kawaguchi’s leadership, the library strengthened its collection of legal databases, expanded research support for faculty scholarship, and streamlined the tools for working lawyers.
In 2016, the library was renamed in recognition of a $5 million endowment from the Hugh and Hazel Darling Foundation, and in 2018, the library was updated to provide a more inviting, open, and modern environment for research, studying, and collaboration.
“Linda has been an extraordinary leader of the Darling Law Library and a wonderful colleague here for the past eight years,” said Fowler School of Law Dean Matt Parlow.
Leysen started her service to the law school six years ago as a research/instruction librarian, coordinating the law library’s research and reference services in support of faculty scholarship and teaching, before being promoted to Associate Director for Library Services in 2018.
“Sherry has done terrific work as Associate Director of the library,” Parlow said, “and we are all excited for the library’s continued success under her leadership in this new role.”
Prior to joining the Fowler School of Law six years ago, Leysen held positions at the William M. Rains Library at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, and the Gallagher Law Library at the University of Washington School of Law. She is a licensed attorney in California and an active member of both the American Association of Law Libraries and the Southern California Association of Law Libraries. Her primary research and teaching interests include advanced legal research, legal research learning and pedagogy, and foreign, comparative, and international law research and sources.
Leysen received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California at Santa Barbara, a M.A. in Psychology (Pre-Clinical) from Chapman University, a JD from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, and a M.L.I.S. with a Certificate in Law Librarianship from the University of Washington. Before her academic career, she served as an intellectual property licensing director.