Widener Law announces faculty and staff changes
Public Relations - Published: July 12, 2010
Widener Law Dean Linda L. Ammons has announced key faculty and staff changes for the upcoming academic year.

“This is a great group of people and we are fortunate to have them on our team,” Ammons said. “Their appointments will strengthen Widener Law’s intellectual and administrative initiatives, and I look forward to the unique contributions each person will bring to the job.”

Fall semester classes begin Aug. 23. The appointments took effect July 1.

On the Delaware campus, the school welcomes newcomers Sonia Baldia, Justin G. Holbrook, Caroline Gentile and Andre L. Smith. In Harrisburg the school welcomes newcomer Steven K. Erickson. The school also recognizes promotions and changes happening for existing faculty and staff members Eileen Grena and Nicole Ballenger in Delaware and Monica Cliatt in Harrisburg.

The school is pleased to announce:

NewPositionsbaldiaSonia Baldia joins the Delaware campus faculty as an associate professor of law, and will be teaching various intellectual property law courses and business organizations. Baldia comes to the law school from Mayer Brown LLP in Washington, D.C., where she was a partner in the firm’s business transactions and intellectual property practices and co-chair of the firm’s global India practice. She is also a registered patent attorney in the U.S. and India, where she is from. In private practice, Baldia focused on international technology, outsourcing, and licensing transactions, cross-border intellectual property matters, and India-related transactions and corporate matters. Baldia also has, as a consultant to U.S. AID and the U.S. Department of Commerce, advised foreign governments in technology, telecommunications, and intellectual property developmental projects. She has a doctor of juridical science degree in intellectual property law from The George Washington University Law School, a master of laws degree from the University of Georgia School of Law and a bachelor of laws degree from the University of Delhi Faculty of Law.

NewPositionsbaldiaCapt. Justin G. Holbrook joins the Delaware campus faculty as an associate professor of law. He comes to Widener from the U.S. Air Force, where he deployed twice in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. As a judge advocate he was responsible for advising in-country commanders on operations law, fiscal law, military justice, foreign claims and civil law. His most recent duty assignment was in Okinawa, Japan. Holbrook holds a law degree from Harvard Law School. He will direct the school’s Veterans Law Clinic and teach the veterans law classroom component. Holbrook replaces Taishoff Professor of Law Thomas J. Reed, who retired June 30 as clinic director.

NewPositionsbaldiaEileen Grena-Piretti takes over as assistant dean and executive director of institutes for the Delaware campus, a promotion from her most recent position as director of the Legal Education Institute. The job involves coordinating the school’s Institute of Delaware Corporate and Business Law, the Health Law Institute and the Taishoff Advocacy, Technology and Public Service Institute. She will work with the individual institute directors to strengthen, grow and promote the programs. Grena came to Widener in 1999 as an adjunct faulty member for the Legal Education Institute. She earned her law degree from Widener Law in 1992 and also holds a degree in nursing from the University of Delaware. She replaces Associate Professor Andrew J. Fichter, who retired June 30.

NewPositionsbaldiaNicole Ballenger takes over as director of the Legal Education Institute, a promotion from her previous position as assistant director. The job involves overseeing the institute, which is the only American Bar Association-approved legal nurse consulting program affiliated with a law school in the region. Known as LEI, the institute’s many programs include ABA-approved paralegal certificates and paralegal certificates with concentrations in corporate law, criminal law, estate administration, health law, litigation and real estate. The institute also awards bachelor’s and associate’s degrees in paralegal studies and administers a court interpreter program. Ballenger came to Widener in 2004 as a special projects coordinator for LEI. She earned her law degree from Widener in 2001 and holds a paralegal certificate from the Legal Education Institute, earned in 1994. She replaces Grena, who has assumed her new position with the law school’s institutes.

NewPositionsbaldiaCaroline M. Gentile joins the Delaware faculty as a visiting associate professor of law and the Ruby R. Vale research scholar. She comes to Widener for the 2010-2011 academic year to teach business organizations and securities regulation. Gentile is on the faculty of Fordham University School of Law in New York, where she has taught since 2002 and has played an integral role in the development of the school’s Corporate Law Center, which she served for two years as academic director. She previously served as a lecturer in law at the UCLA School of Law. She holds a law degree from Yale Law School, where she was symposium editor of The Yale Law Journal.

NewPositionsbaldiaAndre L. Smith joins the Delaware faculty as a visiting associate professor of law. He comes to Widener for the 2010-2011 academic year to teach classes on administrative law and federal income tax. Smith is on the faculty of Florida International University College of Law in Miami, where he has taught since 2004. He holds a master of laws degree in taxation from Georgetown University Law Center and a law degree from Howard University School of Law.

NewPositionsbaldiaMonica Cliatt has been named to the position of a visiting assistant clinical professor of law. In this capacity, Cliatt will be directing the law school’s Harrisburg Civil Clinic while its permanent director, Associate Professor J. Palmer Lockard II, takes a year leave of absence. Cliatt, who has served as a staff attorney with the clinic since 2005, will also be teaching a course on legal methods for the criminal law specialization. She holds a law degree from Widener Law.

NewPositionericksonSteven K. Erickson joins the Harrisburg faculty as a visiting associate professor of law. He assumes that role for the fall 2010 semester, when he will teach courses in criminal law and professional responsibility. Erickson has been teaching for the law school this summer in an adjunct capacity. He comes to Widener from the University of Missouri School of Law, where he was a visiting associate professor for the 2009-2010 academic year. He spent the previous year as the John Olin Fellow in Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He holds a legal master’s degree from Harvard Law School, a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from SUNY at Buffalo and a law degree from SUNY at Buffalo School of Law.