Law school welcomes three

Thompson to lead Land Conservation Clinic

Steffney ThompsonSteffney R. Thompson joined the School of Law faculty in the spring. She will lead the new Land Conservation Clinic (a refocused version of the Environmental Practicum). The clinic will be an interdisciplinary collaboration between the law school and UGA’s Odum School of Ecology working at the nexus of law, science and policy to support and expand conservation efforts across Georgia and the Southeast.

Thompson brings a wealth of experience in conservation law to campus. She worked for the Oconee River Land Trust for approximately 25 years, initially as the land conservation coordinator before becoming the executive director in 2003. Under her leadership, the Oconee River Land Trust expanded the land conservation and stewardship program to more than 43,000 acres and negotiated over 200 conservation easements.

She has also taught classes at the law school and in UGA’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources and served three years as a research assistant at UGA’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government.

Thompson earned her bachelor’s degree with high distinction and her law degree magna cum laude from the University of Arizona.


Serviansky creates ADR graduate program

Daniel ServianskyDaniel S. Serviansky serves as the faculty director of the law school’s new Graduate Program in Alternative Dispute Resolution, which offers opportunities to specialize in ADR through the school’s Master in the Study of Law as well as through a graduate certificate. He also teaches Business Negotiations and coaches the school’s negotiation team.

He came to UGA last fall from Columbia Law School, where he taught the Negotiation Workshop as an adjunct lecturer-in-law and served as a coach, and as a coaches’ coach, in the Mediation Clinic.

His ADR experience ranges from work involving court-annexed mediations in trial and family courts to private disputes among business partners and conflicts in the workplace. He has successfully mediated cases in both English and Spanish.

He also negotiated deals and resolved disputes for more than one decade as a partner in a real estate investment and consulting group.

Serviansky earned his B.A. in history, with distinction, from Yale University and his J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.


Murphy becomes instructor

Trish MurphyComing to UGA in the fall of 2022, Patricia M. “Trish” Murphy serves as an instructor leading the courses Georgia Family Law, ADR in the Workplace and 1L Lawyering.

Previously she worked at the Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire in Savannah for eight years, most recently serving as director of family law services. In 2022, she served as an assistant Juvenile Court judge and a Superior Court hearing officer for Chatham County, Georgia.

Murphy is a registered civil and domestic mediator and is registered in specialized domestic violence. She is also a lead trainer with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution for civil and domestic mediation training.

From 2008 to 2015, Murphy operated her own law firm, specializing in high profile, large asset, long-term marriages and family law case mediation. Her other legal experience includes work in Savannah at Howard & Whatley; McCorkle, Pedigo & Johnson and the McCallar Law Firm.

Murphy obtained her bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of Central Florida and her law degree from Mercer University.