Empire College School of Law has appointed Brian Purtill as its new dean, succeeding J. Michael Mullins, who has served in the post since 2015.

Purtill has had a varied legal career, overseeing arbitrations and mediations at the Arbitration & Mediation Center in Santa Rosa since 1996.

He started in 1984 as a civil litigator at O’Brien Watters & Davis. Purtill then worked for 10 years serving as counsel at the Santa Rosa firm of Spaulding McCullough & Tansil, which he left in 2014. He spent six years on the board of directors of Santa Rosa nonprofit Social Advocates for Youth, the last two as its president, and is currently on the Rebuild Steering Committee for Santa Rosa’s Habitat for Humanity, helping efforts to address the housing shortage exacerbated by the October 2017 wildfires.

“With his core values, experience, knowledge of and relationships with the Sonoma County legal and business communities, I believe that Mr. Purtill’s vision for the Law School will continue its level of professionalism and recognition,” college President Roy Hurd said in a statement.

Purtill is a graduate of the University of San Francisco Law School.