SANTA CLARA, Calif., March 6, 2023—Santa Clara University School of Law has hired its first-ever senior director for diversity, equity, and inclusion, Thiadora (Dori) Pina, currently a clinical professor and director of the school’s externship program.
The position was created to lead Santa Clara Law— one of the most diverse law schools in the country—as it implements a plan to increase the enrollment, retention, and success of underrepresented students and faculty. In 2022, the law school enrolled an exceptionally diverse and talented class of students, 57% of whom identified as persons of color and 22% as first-generation students.
Among the articulated goals of the school to build on such diversity as a key distinctive strength:
- Increase the enrollment, retention, and graduation rates of students from underrepresented communities.
- Recruit, retain and promote outstanding educators with diverse and enriching teaching, research, and life experience.
- Implement intentional anti-racism and anti-oppression initiatives in curricular, pedagogy, counseling, career, and bar-passage programming.
- Implement restorative-justice and trauma-informed practices.
“I look forward to partnering with Dori in her new role to ensure that we are always working intentionally and comprehensively together to become a more diverse, equitable and inclusive community,” said Dean Michael Kaufman. “Under Dori’s remarkable leadership, I am confident that we will make great strides in welcoming and graduating richly diverse classes of outstanding lawyers who will be ambassadors of our Jesuit mission to build a more just, humane, and sustainable world.”
A Proven Innovator and Cultural Leader
Pina is an accomplished civil litigation attorney with strong communication, customer-service, and project-management skills. As director of the externship program, she has employed an innovative approach to professional development using instructional design centered on adult learning theory and principles of positive psychology.
“I believe the law school has made an excellent choice in selecting Professor Pina as the first senior director of diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Santa Clara University Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Shá Duncan Smith. “This role is pivotal in advancing the law school’s justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, access and belonging efforts (JEDI) lifted up in the law school’s and the University’s JEDI strategic plan. I look forward to working with Professor Pina as a thought, strategy and action partner as we collaborate on these initiatives moving forward.”
Pina has extensive experience in “cultural intelligence,” as both a lawyer and professor. She is the faculty advisor for Santa Clara Law’s Black Law Student Association and the founding advisor of Santa Clara Law’s First-Generation Law Student Association. She designed and now delivers a cultural competence workshop centered on critical lawyering competencies.
“I am delighted and proud to be the first senior diversity officer at Santa Clara Law,” said Pina. “I know firsthand the progress and potential of this school to be a national leader in advocating and demonstrating inclusive excellence. We will also nurture our diverse and outstanding students who will lead according to our Jesuit values and standards of excellence.”
Prior to coming to Santa Clara Law, she practiced civil litigation for over 11 years, concentrating on insurance, healthcare, and personal bankruptcy law. She is the lead author of Essential Lawyering Skills: A Companion Guide to Neil W. Hamilton’s ROADMAP (ABA publishing, 2021), an interactive workbook designed to develop student’s professional identity and lawyering skills.
A native of Boston, she received her B.A. degree from the University of Massachusetts, and her J.D. degree from Boston University School of Law. She enjoys cooking, travel, sports, and astronomy. Pina is the Faculty Director of Santa Clara University’s da Vinci Residential Learning Community and lives in Santa Clara.
A search to replace her role as director of externships was launched on February 8.
About Santa Clara University School of Law
Santa Clara University School of Law, one of the nation’s most diverse law schools, is dedicated to educating lawyers who lead with a commitment to excellence, ethics, and social justice. Santa Clara Law offers students an academically rigorous program including certificates in high tech law, international law, public interest and social justice law, and privacy law, as well as numerous graduate and joint degree options. Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Santa Clara Law is nationally distinguished for its faculty engagement, preparation for practice, and top-ranked programs in intellectual property. For more information, see law.scu.edu.
Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Communications | firstname.lastname@example.org | 408-554-5121