Fredric C. Tausend, a former dean of the law school whose law career spanned five decades, passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 18. He was 85 years old.
Tausend joined the law school in 1975 as an adjunct professor while in private practice and became dean just five years later. During his six years in the position, he left a lasting legacy.
“Dean Tausend was an exemplary lawyer, educator, administrator, and human being, and he mentored scores of young lawyers as they joined the profession,” Dean Annette Clark ’89 said. “Many years later, Seattle University School of Law remains a school that was shaped by his vision, and we will be forever grateful that he chose to serve as our dean.”
As a legal practitioner, he believed in setting and maintaining high standards for the school and its students. Because he understood the value of effective legal writing and oral advocacy, Tausend was instrumental in establishing and supporting the law school’s highly ranked Legal Writing program.
Tausend also prioritized providing access to the legal profession for under-represented groups; as a result, the nationally renowned Access Admissions program was created during his tenure.
Dean Tausend was a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Law School, and his impressive legal career spanned five decades. He was a partner and Senior Counsel at K&L Gates, where he practiced commercial litigation, antitrust, and alternative dispute resolution. He distinguished himself as a top antitrust lawyer and was a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He also served for two years as a Shefelman Distinguished Lecturer at University of Washington School of Law.
When he stepped down as dean to return to law practice, the school’s spring moot court competition was renamed in his honor. In addition, David Skover is the faculty holder of the Fredric C. Tausend Professorship, and the Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala law firm recently endowed a Seattle U Law student scholarship in his name.