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College of Law Alumni Association honors Dean María Pabón López

Loyola press release - June 1, 2015

As the first female law dean in Louisiana, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law Dean María Pabón López has been named one of the 50 most influential Hispanics in the U.S., and was honored as Woman of the Year by New Orleans CityBusiness. Now, four years later, as López prepares to take a sabbatical and return to teaching, the honors continue as the College of Law Alumni Association will pay tribute to her dedication and service with the 2015 Glass Honoree award.

López will receive the award at the Law Alumni Annual Cocktail Reception Tuesday, June 9, from 6-8 p.m., at John Wehner’s Village Door, located at 136 Fisherman’s Cove in Destin, Fla. Advance registration is available for $45.00. For more information, contact Allison Hotard at 504-861-5741 or amhotard@loyno.edu.

“Receiving this award from the alumni association is a great honor for me. I am humbled to be chosen and proud of the accomplishments in the College of Law, and I couldn’t have done it without the contributions of our law faculty, staff, students and alumni,” said López.

At Loyola, López, who is also one of only a few Latina law deans in the country, implemented several strategies to achieve impressive results within the College of Law, including:

  • Achieved a 70 percent bar passage rate this past February, making the College of Law second in the state ahead of Louisiana State University’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center.
  • Oversaw the yearlong centennial celebration of the College of Law, which included a program spearheaded by M. Isabel Medina, J.D., the Ferris Family Distinguished Professor of Law honoring alumnus and civil rights advocate the Honorable James Skelly Wright, LL.B. '34. A bust of Wright permanently sits outside the College of Law now.
  • Selected as one of two law schools (out of 97 applicants) in the country for a grant from the American Bar Association that helped create the Loyola Incubator Program, which allowed five young graduates in their first years of solo practice, the opportunity to address legal needs of poor and moderate-income individuals.
  • Created four new certificate programs last year, including Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship; Social Justice; Health Law and Immigration; and Citizenship Law and Practice certificates.
  • Increased the credentials of the entering class: Half of the college’s 2014 first-year students had an LSAT score of 153 or higher and a GPA of 3.15.
  • Fostered close relationships with Loyola’s main campus, including teaching two classes in the honors program.
  • Participated in the Ignatian Faculty Fellows program, the first representative from the College of Law.
  • Worked in conjunction with the Office of Institutional Advancement and key volunteers to expand fundraising opportunities for the College of Law.

Before arriving at Loyola, López was a professor of law and vice dean designate at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. She is an expert on immigration law and diversity/multicultural matters in the legal profession, focusing on issues concerning Latinos, race and the law, and the status of women lawyers. She is also a prolific author, publishing “Persistent Inequality: Contemporary Realities in the Education of Undocumented Latino/a Children” in 2010. During her sabbatical, López will work on a book about female lawyers in Louisiana.

Additional honors for López include recognition as a top Latina innovator by New Orleans Living magazine, an Excellence in Leadership award from the National Latino Law Students Association, and two-time selection by the National Diversity Council as a Most Powerful and Influential Woman in Louisiana.