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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Penn State Law

"At Penn State Law in University Park, we are deeply committed to being a welcoming and inclusive environment for every student, staff, and faculty member of our community.  Via our rich menu of curricular offerings, student organizations, in-house clinics, externships, and community service opportunities, Penn State Law provides a myriad of ways for students to learn to understand perspectives different from their own and to work for the betterment of society with people from a variety of interesting backgrounds.  While we at Penn State Law are proud of our accomplishments in this space, we recognize that this important work is ongoing and requires vigilance.  Our law school community aspires to be a place where each individual student knows they are seen and heard, enabling all of us to be better equipped to work collaboratively even when we may agree to disagree.  Likewise, the hope for our new Penn State Law graduates is that, through their experiences with us, they may seek to know and understand their diverse future clients as persons who each deserve their zealous representation and best professional efforts."

Victor RomeroVictor Romero
Interim Dean, Penn State Law and the School of International Affairs
Maureen B. Cavanaugh Distinguished Faculty Scholar
Professor of Law



"I am honored to serve as Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Penn State Law in University Park.  I come to this position as the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and as a person who is deeply committed to advancing equity in law and beyond.  I am excited to continue the important work of DEIB to which so many members of the Penn State Law community have already shown their commitment.  Penn State Law’s longstanding commitment to diversity is an extension of our commitment to excellence.  At Penn State Law, we operate a Minority Mentor Program; extend courses and a concentration in race, equity, and law; offer new scholarships focused on equity and access for underrepresented students; collaborate with central university on broader diversity initiatives; and listen to our community about enduring challenges. Penn State Law should be a place where inclusion, equity, and diversity are valued in curriculum, scholarship, and community.  I plan to amplify and elevate the work of so many members of Penn State Law as we strive to make the law school, the community , and the legal profession diverse and equitable spaces in which everyone truly belongs."

Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia

Dr. Wende' Ferguson
Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Assistant Dean for Student Services
(814) 867-1261




Big Ten Law Schools Affirm Their Commitment to Diversity

"We are deans of Big Ten law schools, joining together to affirm our commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion through legally permissible means, regardless of the outcome of the cases pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. These are core values of our law schools and the universities of which we are part.  If we are to prepare people to be effective lawyers and future leaders, it is essential to create a learning environment that welcomes people who embody a wide range of identities, backgrounds, and experiences."

Read the full statement here.


Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Highlights at Penn State Law in University Park

Immigration law has been one of the fastest evolving legal fields in the United States. Through the shifts and constant political discourse, Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, Penn State Law in University Park associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion, Samuel Weiss faculty scholar and clinical professor of law, and director of the Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, has been a steady voice, providing guidance and leadership. At the same time, she has led Penn State Law’s work in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Here are some of the recent highlights in Penn State Law’s DEI space.


Faculty Scholarship on Race, Equity, and the Law

Many faculty at Penn State Law in University Park focus their scholarship on race, equity and the law. Our faculty research critiques and examines disparities and inequities in immigration, criminal justice, policing, justice, health, housing, education, labor, and sports. Faculty research in this space is crucial to the generation of ideas and solutions for reforms in our legal system as well as to related discussions in the classroom. Featured below is the recent scholarship of six of our faculty members. Read More >

Penn State Law Community Messages

10/13/22 Message to the Community on Fifth Circuit Ruling on DACA
5/25/22 Message to the Community and Resources on shootings in Texas
10/25/21 Community Message denouncing Yiannopoulos comments and tour
8/17/2021 Afghanistan
7/19/21 Message to the Penn State Law and SIA community on DACA ruling
6/28/21 Pride Month/Day and Immigrant Heritage Month
5/25/21 The Need for Greater Justice
4/20/21 Statement on the Deadly Shootings and Ahead of the Verdict
4/5/21 Next Steps on Penn State Law Bias Reporting Efforts
3/18/21 Statement on the Deadly Shootings in Atlanta
3/1/21 Condemning Anti-Asian Violence and Supporting Asian Members of Our Community
2/16/21 Zoom Bombing Yesterday
1/30/21 Zoom Bombing at Penn State's Virtual Spring Involvement Fair
1/9/21 Advancing Rule of Law and Racial Equity
1/6/21 Statement on the Assault on the Rule of Law
10/30/20 The Profound Need for Greater Justice
9/25/20 Breonna Taylor Decision
8/28/20 Statement on Jacob Blake and the Urgent Need for Action
6/26/20 George Floyd Memorial Scholarship and Updates on Concrete Action
8/4/20 Update on International Students
7/23/20 Time Sensitive Opportunity (only until July 31) to Build Match for George Floyd Memorial Scholarship
7/14/20 ICE Policy Rescinded
7/9/20 Update on Efforts to Support International Students
7/7/20 ICE Announcement about International Students and Remote Learning for Fall 2020
6/19/20 Juneteenth Celebration and Reflection
6/9/20 Penn State Law and SIA Open Letter Against Racism for Signature
6/9/20 Announcing Professor Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia as Incoming Penn State Law Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
6/5/20 Concrete Action Steps to Make Progress
6/5/20 Concrete DEI Action Steps
6/2/20 Statement of Support for Our BLSA Students and Black Community Members
5/30/20 Supporting Each Other and Collaborating to Address Hatred and Bias


University Resources Mental Health and Counseling
Bias Resources Recommended Reading
Disability Accommodations Multimedia Resources
DACA Resources Montague Law Library resources on
Understanding and Dismantling Racism
AAPI Resources LGBTQ Resources

Recent News/Events

Upcoming Event: Black Law Student Association's Beyond the Bar Panel, February 10, 2023

Upcoming Event: Faculty Workshop on Navigating Difficult Conversations, February 21, 2023

Two Penn State Law 1Ls awarded Frost Brown Todd Diversity Scholarship, January 31, 2023

University mourns attack on Colorado Springs LGBTQ night club, shares resources, November 21, 2022 

New BUILD @ Penn State diversity education program now available, November 14, 2022

 Weighing In: Navigating the Legal Profession as an Immigrant Woman of Color, November 7, 2022

Penn State continues to support DACA status despite recent ruling, October 13, 2022

Upcoming Event: The Intersection of Policing and Race, October 25, 2022

Hispanic Heritage Month Minority Mentorship Q&A, September 30, 2022

Penn State Law student endows Sanchez-Crynes Visionary Legacy Scholarship, September 20, 2022

Dean Wadhia speaks at ACS Annual Supreme Court Preview for the 2022-2023 Term, September 20, 2022

State College Mayor Ezra Nanes issued proclamations to mark Welcoming Week and Hispanic Heritage Month in State College. The Center for
Immigrants’ Rights Clinic and Law Student Association were honored to accept these proclamations,
September 12, 2022

Multicultural Unity Fair taking place September 17, 2022 at State College Muncipal Building, September 8, 2022

The Minority Mentor Program (MMP) at Penn State Law in University Park held its eighth annual kickoff reception, August 26, 2022

Refugees are Welcome Here: A Community Conversation, September 13, 2022

The mst diverse LL.M. class of its size in the U.S., August 12, 2022

Penn State Law makes 'Top 65 Law Schools for Black students' list, June 15, 2022

Dean Wadhia participates in briefing with legal experts on the future of DACA, June 9, 2022

Dean Wadhia accepts mayoral proclamation marking June Immigrant Heritage Month, June 7, 2022

More News/Events here

Penn State University Acknowledgment of Land

The Pennsylvania State University campuses are located on the original homelands of the Erie, Haudenosaunee (Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk, and Tuscarora), Lenape (Delaware Nation, Delaware Tribe, Stockbridge-Munsee), Shawnee (Absentee, Eastern, and Oklahoma), Susquehannock, and Wahzhazhe (Osage) Nations.  As a land grant institution, we acknowledge and honor the traditional caretakers of these lands and strive to understand and model their responsible stewardship. We also acknowledge the longer history of these lands and our place in that history.