University of New Hampshire

School of Law

School of Law

John D. Hutson

Dean Emeritus

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John D. Hutson served as Dean & President of the University of New Hampshire School of Law from July 2000 through January 2011. Hutson was born in North Muskegon, Michigan. He was commissioned in the U.S. Navy upon graduation from Michigan State University in 1969. He graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1972. Upon admission to the State Bar of Michigan, he attended the Naval Justice School in Newport, R.I. In 1973, he was assigned to the Law Center in Corpus Christi, TX, where he served as Chief Defense Counsel and Chief Trial Counsel. In 1975, he was transferred to Naval Air Station, Point Mugu, CA. He served as the Station legal officer for two years before returning to Newport to serve as an instructor at the Naval Justice School, where he taught Civil Law, Procedure, and Evidence.

In 1980, Hutson attended Georgetown University Law Center where he earned a Master of Laws degree in labor law. He was then assigned as a legislative counsel in the first of three tours in the Office of Legislative Affairs for the Navy. In 1984, he was assigned to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, ME, where he served both as Staff Judge Advocate and Administrative Officer.

Hutson assumed duty as Executive Officer of the Naval Legal Service Office, Newport, RI, in 1987. In 1989, he returned to Washington, DC, to serve as Staff Judge Advocate and Executive Assistant to the Commander, Naval Investigative Command.

In August 1989, Hutson moved to the Office of Legislative Affairs as Director of Legislation. Between October 1992, and November 1993, he was assigned as the Executive Assistant to the Judge Advocate General of the Navy. In November, 1993, he resumed duty in the Office of Legislative Affairs.

In August 1994, he assumed duty as Commanding Officer, Naval Legal Service Office, Europe and Southwest Asia, located in Naples, Italy. In July 1996, Hutson returned to the Naval Justice School as Commanding Officer. He was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral, and assumed duties as the Judge Advocate General of the Navy in May 1997. He also served as the DOD/JCS Representative for Ocean Policy.

Hutson was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (with three gold stars), Meritorious Service Medal (with two gold stars), Navy Commendation Medal, and Navy Achievement Medal.

Hutson is married to the former Paula Smith of Fairview Park, OH. They have two daughters, Christy and Melissa.