A gavel sitting on a desk with a round sound block

JFK School of Law at National University

Students, Alumni & Faculty

Our Culture

At National University, you’re part of a family. As a student, you’ll have the support of staff, faculty members, students, and alumni who will be there with you every step of the way, cheering you on as you pursue your goals. 

graduating students

NU Students and Alumni

National University, a Veteran-founded nonprofit, has been dedicated to meeting the needs of hard-working adults by providing accessible, affordable, achievable higher education opportunities since 1971. As San Diego’s largest private nonprofit university, NU offers over 100 programs and four- and eight-week courses designed to help students reach their goals while balancing busy lives. Classes are offered online or on-site at locations across California and on select military bases nationwide. Since its founding, the NU community has grown to over 45,000 students and 220,000+ alumni around the globe.

Whole Human Education

For the working adult daunted by the investment it takes to go back to school, National University is the one online university that considers the whole you. Through Whole Human Education, our 360-degree supportive ecosystem, students have the academic, career, financial, emotional, and family support needed to succeed.

man studying with his young daughter

Whole Human

man smiling looking to the left

man standing next to the JFK school of Law building

360 Degree Support

NU’s whole-human education positioning takes a holistic approach to student well-being. We’ve identified five areas designed to provide 360-degree support to our learners. We want our students to know they don’t have to “go it alone” when it comes to their education. We want them to feel we see their potential and recognize their unique life circumstances. And we want them to believe they’ll get the support they need to succeed in life and school.

two proud female graduates

How We Support Our Students

We understand that you have work and family obligations. That’s why the JFK School of Law at National University provides a holistic approach to student success and well-being called Whole Human Education™. It offers the academic, financial, career, family, and emotional support our students need to excel professionally, personally, and academically.

Academic Pillar

Academic Pillar

Legal Writing Coaches

Comprehensive Law Library

Bar Success Support

Financial Pillar

Financial Pillar

Financial Aid Advisors

Student Emergency Grants

Millions in Scholarships

Career Pillar

Career Pillar

Faculty Mentorship & NU Mentoring Network

Portal with Job Recommendations

Certified Law Student Opportunities

Social & Emotional Pillar

Social & Emotional Pillar

Student Wellness Resources

Care Team & Personalized Support

Free Mental Health Counseling

Family & Community Pillar

Family & Community Pillar

Flexible Online Courses for School-life Balance

Student Clubs and Activities

Public Service Internships

Natalya F, School of Law Graduate
“My degree has helped me with my confidence as a person and as a member of my community. This degree gives you a way to make real change.”

Natalya F, School of Law Graduate

Dennis S., JFK School of Law Student
“My advice to anyone thinking about starting the program would be this: If you’re ready to see the world differently, then take the plunge. You will be supported, you will make new connections from across the United States, you will be changed for the better, and you will do this at an amazing school that genuinely cares about your success!”

Dennis S., JFK School of Law Student

Kate M., JFK School of Law Graduate
“I felt tremendous support from the faculty and staff at the JFK School of Law. There were also ample academic resources and faculty and staff who were rooting for me along the way. I believe that is rare in higher education, and I am deeply grateful for those who made my degrees possible and who walked alongside me on the way.”

Kate M., JFK School of Law Graduate

Meet Our Dean

Lisa S. Hutton, JD

Areas of Expertise:

  • Academic leadership and management
  • Online curriculum development and oversight
  • Academic assessment
  • Faculty development and mentorship


  • Juris Doctor, JFK School of Law, Pleasant Hill, CA
  • Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, California State University, Chico, CA​

Certifications and /or licenses:

  • ​CA State Bar License (#203233), admitted to practice in all CA courts and the United States District Court for the Northern District of California
  • WASCUC Assessment Leadership Academy

Select Professional Experience:

  • ​Executive Board Member, American Association for Paralegal and Legal Education (AAfPE) 2018-current
  • Legal Methods, Introduction to Law, Legal Research and Writing, Capstone
  • Contra Costa County Bar Association member
  • Legal Studies Advisory Board Chair 2005-2019
  • President, JFK University Faculty Senate 2009-2018
  • Interim Provost Northcentral University 2022
  • Hutton, L. (2006, 2010) Presentation: Navigating Business & Professions Code 6450-6456. Mt. Diablo Legal Professionals Association)
  • Hutton, L. (2009) Presentation: How to Integrate the Core Curriculum with Legal Specialty Courses. AAfPE, Portland, OR
  • Hutton, L. (2009-2011) Presentation: What Psychiatrists need to know when dealing with Lawyers. PSD 7141
  • Hutton, L. (2010) Presentation: Employability of Paralegals in the 21st Century. AAfPE, San Francisco, CA
  • Hutton, L. (2010) Presentation: Making Assessment a part of University’s Culture.  WASC ARC, Long Beach CA
  • Hutton, L. (2010) Presentation: Creating an online lab in your traditional legal specialty coursework. AAfPE, Denver, CO
  • Hutton, L. (2011) Presentation: The ABC’s of Program Directors. AAfPE, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Hutton, L. (2011) Presentation: Gaining and Sustaining Faculty Support for Program Assessment. WASC ARC, San Francisco, CA
  • Hutton, L. (2012) Presentation: The ABC’s of Program Assessment. AAfPE, Savannah GA
  • Hutton, L. (2013). Paralegals: Part of the Solution. Contra Costa Lawyer, June 2013
  • Hutton, L. (2014) Presentation: Utilization of Advisory Boards in Higher Education.  WASC ARC, Los Angeles, CA
  • Hutton, L. (2014) Presentation: Promoting the Paralegal. AAfPE, Las Vegas, NV
  • Hutton, L. (2015) Presentation: Retention Strategies for Adult Learners. WASC ARC, Oakland, CA
  • Hutton, L. (2016) Presentation: Tips to Streamline Program and Course-level Assessment AAfPE, San Antonio, TX
  • Hutton, L. (2017) Presentation: Syllabus 101. AAfPE, Albuquerque, NM
  • Hutton, L. (2017) Effective Use of Paralegals in Education. Contra Costa Lawyer, October 2017
  • Hutton, L. (2018) Presentation: Establishing an Institutional Process for Annual Assessment of ILO’s. WASC Arc, San Francisco, CA
  • Hutton, L. (2019) Presentation: Legal Ethics, What you Need to Know. MDLPA, Walnut Creek CA
  • Hutton, L. (2019) Presentation: Changes to the State Bar Rules on Ethics. SFPA, San Francisco, CA
Lisa S. Hutton, JD, Dean of the JFK School of Law

Contact Information


Meet Our Faculty

Nicole Mills, Asociate Dean, JFK School of Law

Nicole Mills
Asociate Dean, JFK School of Law

Rebecca Brackman
Deputy Public Defender, Contra Costa County, felonies with specialization in forensic evidence issues

Crystal Van Der Putten
Associate, Livingston Law Firm, P.C.

Lynn Couture
Former Senior Deputiy District Attorney, Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office

Kenneth Goldsmith
Program Director, Paralegal Education, Chattanooga State Community College

Jeffrey Groves
Senior VP/General Counsel O’Reilly Automotive, Inc.

Farrah Hussein
Civil Litigation, Deputy City Attorney, Vallejo, CA

Ryan Johnson
Full-Time Faculty, Writing Program Director, JFK School of Law

Jess Khachiyants
Assessment Director, JFK School of Law

Chris Kanios
Full Time Faculty

Leonidas Spanos
Senior Associate, Consumer Bankruptcy, Jen Lee Law, Inc.

Marta Young
Director of Instructional Support, BarBri, Inc.

Pam Zimba
Full-Time Faculty

Jeffrey Morris
Retired from active practice

Beverley Meyers
Founder, Legal Writing Launch

Helen Peters
Family Law, Solo Practitioner

William Waterman
CCC Superior Court Settlement Mentor

Phyllis Redmond
Active, but not practicing at the moment

Greg Roth
Principal Law Clerk, New York State Office of Court Administration

Dennis Tonsing
Retired Trial Attorney, Law Office of Tonsing & Tonsing, and author of 1000 Days to the Bar- But the Practice of Law Begins Now: How to Achieve your Personal Best in Law School

National University Statement of Academic Freedom

The National University Faculty Handbook, approved by the National University Board of Trustees on July 29, 2022, defines Academic Freedom in Section 1.4 as follows:

1.4 Academic Freedom
The University supports academic freedom as a right and a responsibility within the academy. As a right, academic freedom ensures the freedom of thought and expression as it applies to the artfulness of teaching, as well as discipline / subject content publication, oral presentation, and extramural activities. Academic freedom as a responsibility includes specific, intentional, learning-science based strategies and andragogical interventions, which will be designed collaboratively across academic stakeholders. While faculty members have the right to choose and use external, third-party materials (for example “textbook”) that they deem appropriate to program or course outcomes in their classes, those materials, syllabi and all content must adhere to the design standards as outlined by the president and provost office. Academic freedom grants faculty members the liberty to teach, pursue, discuss knowledge, do research, and publish the research results. In the classroom, faculty have the right to teach and say what they believe to be pertinent to the subject