Penn State Student Legal Services
Division of Student Affairs
J.D. from Ohio Northern University, Claude W. Pettit College of Law
B.A. in Political Science with Minors in English and International Studies from Pennsylvania State University
Prior to joining the Student Legal Services office, Professor Ortega was supervising attorney for the Family Law Clinic at Penn State Law. In this role, she supervised certified legal interns in their representation of clients in divorce, child custody and support, and protection from abuses cases.
Before her time in Pennsylvania, Professor Ortega worked for East Bay Family Defenders in Alameda County, California representing parents, children, and interested third parties in child dependency cases. She managed a high-volume caseload in this role and gained extensive litigation experience as a registered legal services attorney.
Professor Ortega also practiced law in Kansas where she was managing attorney for the Medical Legal Partnership at University of Kansas Hospital. She supervised University of Kansas law students in their representation of clients in family law, immigration, social security appeals, wills, and advanced directives. She also managed her own caseload while in this role.
Professor Ortega also served as an associate litigation counsel for the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts, and she was in private practice for several years before this, practicing primarily family law, criminal law, and child in need of care cases.
She has extensive experience representing vulnerable populations, and she has devoted her career to low-income legal services. Professor Ortega prides herself in her daily practice of trauma-informed lawyering and the positive impact it has on individuals, adults and children alike.
She has held various leadership positions in the Douglas County Bar Association, and the Kansas Bar Association. She is now an active member of the Family Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and licensed to practice law in both Pennsylvania and Kansas.