Dean Ortiz is the School of Law’s inaugural Dean of Student Engagement and Professional Development (Dean of Students for short). She works with the staff of all the departments whose focus is facilitating students’ everyday law school life outside the classroom. This can involve everything from registering for classes, applying for financial aid, or pursuing job searches, to seeking guidance on personal, academic, or professional matters.
Throughout the academic year, Dean Ortiz and her colleagues will be developing programming and events that emphasize both students’ engagement with their learning and their community and the development and nurturing of their professional personas.
Dean Ortiz also works closely with the Student Bar Association and all student organizations, supporting their event-planning and collaborating with them on all types of community-building activities.
Dean Ortiz has a long career as a law school Dean of Students. UMass Law will be the fourth public law school at which she has served in that capacity.
Dean Ortiz received her J.D. from the School of Law of the City University of New York (CUNY). Following law school, she spent several years at a major New York City law firm and then as Court Attorney to a New York Civil Court trial judge. Dean Ortiz has always been drawn to academia: prior to law school she taught high school, community college, and adult students at several different schools and programs. When the opportunity arose for her to return to her law school alma mater, she happily assumed the position of Dean of Students at CUNY Law. She spent several years there before moving to California where she served for ten years as the Dean of Students at the School of Law of the University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall). She was also tapped to assist the newest law school in that state, UC Irvine Law, in the establishment of its Admissions, Financial Aid, Registrar, Career Development, and Student Services offices.
Dean Ortiz is a published author and translator. Her most recent book was published last year by Foundation Press: Español para Abogados/Spanish for Lawyers. It has been adopted as a course text at a number of law schools throughout the country.