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College of Law community mourns loss of first female professor, Patricia Hassett

July 14, 2009

Jaclyn D. Grosso
(315) 443-9534

Syracuse University College of Law Professor Emerita Patricia Hassett, 68, died July 10 at her home. Born in Elmira, N.Y., Hassett had been a resident of Syracuse since 1974, when she began teaching at the College of Law. Hassett had the distinction of being the first woman professor at the college. After 32 years as a faculty member, she was granted emeritus status in 2006.

Hassett"Professor Hassett was an incredible person and teacher who inspired so many of our law students. We were fortunate to have her on our faculty for so many years," says Dean Hannah R. Arterian. "We are so saddened by her death and extend our deepest sympathy to her family."

Formerly a prosecuting attorney and a municipal government attorney, Hassett served with the Lord Chancellors Advisory Committee on Legal Education and Conduct, focusing on persons providing legal services in England. She also served as a consultant to the English Home Office on a project to improve the quality of bail decisions.

Hassett earned a B.A. degree at Elmira College and a LL.B. degree at Syracuse University College of Law, where she was a member of the Syracuse Law Review, and an LL.M. at Harvard University. She wrote in the field of artificial intelligence and the law, and constructed a prototype of an expert system that makes bail recommendations. She taught courses in constitutional criminal procedure, artificial intelligence and criminal law.

Friends may visit with her family from 4-6 p.m. Thursday, July 16, at Sisskind Funeral Chapel, 3175 E. Genesee St., Syracuse. A funeral service and burial will be in Elmira on Friday. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), http://www.trac.syr.edu.

Her friends and colleagues at the College of Law hope to celebrate her life with a campus memorial service at a later date.

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