Penn State
Lewis Katz Building, University Park, PA
twitter   facebook   linkedin   Instagram   webmail
Give Now Apply Now
  • Diverse student group
  • Minority Mentorship Program Header Banner

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Penn State Law


"At Penn State Law, we are deeply committed to being a welcoming and inclusive environment for every member of our community and combatting bias and racism  wherever it exists and training our students to do the same as future lawyers.  Penn State Law’s  accomplishments this past year  are an example of this commitment.  But we are not finished.  Looking back over three decades of service in the armed forces of the United States, I have witnessed people of varied backgrounds come together to achieve the most extraordinary results.  This is what we must do as a community at Penn State Law.  We must listen to each other in a spirit of shared humanity while acknowledging that our life experiences may be different.  We must learn from the past, understand law’s impact, and come together – courageously – to pursue justice and fulfill our highest aspirations for what our community, and our nation, can be."

James W. Houck
Interim Dean, Penn State Law and School of International Affairs
Vice Admiral, JAG Corps, U.S. Navy (Ret.)
Distinguished Scholar in Residence
Director, Center for Security Research and Education




"I am honored to serve as Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Penn State Law. I come to this position as an immigration attorney, first-generation American, and first-generation lawyer, and deeply committed to advancing equity in law and beyond . Systemic racism has pervaded institutions for centuries, including the legal academy and the legal profession. Further, inequities faced by racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+ persons, veterans, and first-generation students endure. Finally, international students, those with DACA and without immigration status face new challenges in the wake of changing federal policies and litigation. Penn State Law should be a place where inclusion, equity, and diversity are valued in our teaching, scholarship, learning, and community beyond a piece of paper. 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. I pledge to carry out my work with diligence, integrity, and passion. I am also grateful to our Diversity Committee and affinity groups for their leadership." 

Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia
Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Samuel Weiss Faculty Scholar and Clinical Professor of Law
Founder and Director, Center for Immigrants' Rights Clinic
(814) 865-3823 / Office Hours





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.


Penn State Law Community Messages

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: The Intersection of Policing and Race, October 27, 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.