Professional Biography
Image of Stephen Ferruolo

Stephen Ferruolo Partner

  • San Diego

    D +1.858.720.5763

    F +1.858.720.5863

    San Diego

    11452 El Camino Real, Suite 300

    San Diego, CA 92130-2080




Stephen C. Ferruolo focuses his practice on the life sciences sector, representing private and publicly held biotech, pharmaceutical, medical device, and digital health companies, as well as technology companies, investors, and venture capitalists. Widely known and regarded for his exemplary representation of his clients, Stephen has earned an international reputation in the life sciences.

Stephen’s extensive experience includes guiding life science clients through private and public financings as well as mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance issues, licensing, collaboration and commercial agreements, and compliance matters. Stephen has worked on hundreds of private financings during his legal career, with a broad range of venture capitalists and other investors and handled IPOs ranging from $6 million to $1.1 billion.

Stephen most recently served as the dean of the University of San Diego School of Law, where he was also a professor of law in business and corporate law, contracts, and securities regulation. Prior to that, he held a variety of senior law firm positions in Southern California, and he currently serves as vice president and secretary and on the board of directors of BIOCOM, the association representing the California life science industry.

Professional Recognition

  • Convivio Communitas Award for Leadership, 2017
  • Bernard E. Witkin Award for Excellence in Legal Education, San Diego Law Library Justice Foundation, 2014
  • William W. Otterson Award for Outstanding Service to the Life Sciences Industry in San Diego, BIOCOM, 2006
  • Listed in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (Life Sciences), 2008 - 2013
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America (Biotechnology)
  • Listed in Daily Journal’s “Top 25 Biotech Lawyers in California”
  • Listed in The Legal 500, United States, 2010 - 2011

Professional Leadership

  • American Bar Foundation, Fellow, 2015 - present
  • BIOCOM, Board of Directors, 2000 - present
    • Vice President and Secretary, 2019 - present
    • Executive Committee, Member, 2003 - present
    • Compensation and Nomination Committees, Member, 2011 - present
    • Vice Chairman, 2011 - 2013
    • Vice President and General Counsel, 2003 - 2010
  • Corporate Directors Forum, Board of Directors, 2012 - present
  • San Diego Volunteer Lawyers Program, Board of Directors, 2012 - present
  • Kuwait International Law School
    • Board of Directors, Member, 2019 - present
    • International Academic Advisory Board, Member, 2015 - present
  • California Attorney Practice Analysis (CAPA) Working Group, Member, 2019 - present
  • Civic Learning California Summit: Power of Democracy, Steering Committee, 2016 - 2019
  • State Bar of California Law School Council, Representative, 2014 - 2016
  • San Diego Opera, Board of Directors, 2007 - 2011
  • BIO International Conventions, Program Committee, Co-Chair, 2004, 2008

Related Employment

  • University of San Diego School of Law, San Diego, CA, Dean and Professor of Law, 2011 - 2020
  • Goodwin Procter LLP, San Diego, CA, 2007 - 2011
  • Heller Ehrman LLP, Palo Alto and San Diego, CA, 1993 - 2007
  • O’Melveny & Myers, Los Angeles, CA, 1991 - 1992





Bar and Court Admissions

  • California


  • Stanford Law School, J.D., Order of the Coif, 1990
  • Princeton University, Ph.D., History, 1979
  • Princeton University, M.A., History, 1975
  • University of Oxford, M.Phil., European History, Rhodes Scholar, 1973
  • Wesleyan University, A.B., College of Social Studies, magna cum laude, 1971