The Gould School of Law awarded Nancy Staudt, a professor of law and public policy, as the inaugural holder of the Edward G. Lewis Chair at the California Club in Downtown Los Angeles on Monday.
The chair was established in honor of Edward G. Lewis, a 1970 graduate of USC Law’s Board of Councilors. The chair will provide a permanent endowment or a perpetual grant to support the work of professors in the Gould School of Law.
Staudt, a nationally recognized tax scholar, began her career as a lawyer in San Francisco. She served as a professor at Northwestern University Law School until she came to USC in June 2011. She currently has faculty appointments in the Gould School of Law and the Sol Price School of Public Policy.
Staudt has enjoyed her experience so far at USC, especially working with students and her colleagues, she said.
“The faculties in both these schools are just so smart and collegial,” Staudt said. “It really makes for a bright and vibrant experience. I teach both law students and undergraduate students as well and the students are so interested and interesting, so spending time with the faculty and students has been wonderful.”
The endowed chair not only reflects her achievements, but also the caliber of the university, Staudt said.
“What’s exciting about [becoming a chair] is that only really great universities award these types of honors,” Staudt said. “It’s an exciting moment because USC is really becoming so fantastic and to be recognized at such a fantastic institution is a real honor.”
Stadut said one of her principal goals is to improve the university through the Lewis Chair.
“I’ve really been thinking about this award as not only a motivator to work hard in the classroom and as a researcher, but as a responsibility to contribute to the school and the students,” Staudt said. “Not only do I get to glow in this new status, but I really need to be motivated to help this university become even greater.”
Staudt’s current research is focused on the relationship between financial innovation and the legal community, such as innovative ways of creating initial public offerings.