Lawyer Monthly - Women In Law Awards 2022

Discrimination&HumanRights Lawyer of theYear Tell us more in detail about your legal career and the intersection of your legal background with your other professional roles. Law and advocacy has imbued everything that I have done. After law school, I spent two decades working as a staff attorney for a federal judge. I wrote opinions on civil rights cases, constitutional rights cases, discrimination in employment cases, and prisoner conditions of confinement actions. During that time, I also advised universities regarding their disability services, and nonprofits regarding their operations and their advocacy. And I continued to move deeper into legal academia. I am currently the Dean of the School of Law at California Southern University, and was formerly its Dean of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. During the protests that ensued after George Floyd’s murder, I was the Dean of both the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice and the School of Law. So I had to navigate a lot of competing perspectives: an entire school of active-duty law enforcement, an advisory council of police chiefs, an entire school of aspiring attorneys (with a faculty that were all practising attorneys), and another advisory council that were judges and partners in law firms. My fundamental passion for human rights and using my voice as a force for good permeated through all of that. I welcomed the opportunity to shape the next generation And, as a capstone on your early legal career, you were sworn in as a member of the United States Supreme Court bar by Ruth Bader Ginsburg? Yes! That was a full-circle moment for me—beyond a dream come true. She was my inspiration as far back as the seventies, and having her actually swear me in as a member of the United States Supreme Court bar was a magical, incredible moment. 16 I knewthat I couldusemy voice to call out injustice.My voice gavememy power.

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