Southwestern Community Mourns the Loss of Professor George Zervas
Professor George J. Zervas, a thirty-year veteran of Southwestern’s full-time faculty, passed away on November 3.
Zervas developed an expertise in administrative and constitutional
law through many years of experience in the government and
in the law classroom. He began his legal career with the
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as a staff attorney with the
Atlanta office. During his 11 years with the agency, he advanced
to assistant regional director and acting regional director
of the Los Angeles office, eventually supervising 18 lawyers
and 22 investigators. He left the FTC in 1967 to become a
member of the law faculty at the University of Tennessee
College of Law. Two years later, he resumed his affiliation
with the Commission and subsequently began teaching at Southwestern
as a member of the adjunct faculty.
In 1974, Professor Zervas was appointed to Southwestern’s full-time faculty, originally serving as assistant dean for academic affairs in addition to teaching. In keeping with his strong belief that law students “must grasp the method for studying law and successfully taking exams,” he began a tradition of combining practice exam sessions with his "chili cook-offs." Professor Zervas taught Administrative Law, Constitutional Law I & II, Constitutional Law Seminar, Federal Courts, Unfair Competition & Consumer Protection, and SCALE.
In recognition of Professor Zervas' outstanding teaching, dedication to students, professional accomplishments, and service to Southwestern, he was honored in 1999 as the Irwin R. Buchalter Professor of Law. He became Professor Emeritus in 2004.
Off campus, Professor Zervas served as a member of the California Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Task Force, and was selected as one of 15 participants in a special National Endowment for the Humanities seminar held in honor of the Bicentennial of the Constitution.
Professor Zervas earned his A.B. degree in Social Studies in 1955 from Union
College, and his J.D. degree in 1961 from the University of California at Berkeley.
He was a member of the California and Georgia State Bars.
Upon his retirement, Professor Zervas was toasted by his colleagues at a dinner in his honor. In his remarks, Professor James Kushner said, "George always read the new rulings and relished exploring their meaning with his classes and his colleagues...One measure of George's extraordinary intellect and curiosity was his voluntary shift – late in his career – from administrative law and civil procedure to constitutional law with its unknowable and organic doctrine and another 1,000 pages of rulings to integrate annually. Only a scholar would go there!"
Professor Zervas' warmth, enthusiasm and devotion to his students and colleagues will be greatly missed.