New York, NY (December 2, 2013) – Paula Edgar has been appointed as New York Law School’s (NYLS) Chief Diversity Officer, announced Dean and President Anthony W. Crowell. She is the inaugural holder of this position.
As Chief Diversity Officer, Ms. Edgar will work closely with Dean Crowell and the whole NYLS community to develop a comprehensive diversity plan, including recruitment, retention, and support programs, as well as strategies to aid student professional development and intercultural competence. Ms. Edgar will collaborate with faculty, administration, staff, students, alumni, and other members of the legal profession in this mission.
“Diversity is a core value and critical institutional priority of NYLS and the legal profession. As New Yorkers and legal educators, we understand that diversity is our greatest strength. As detailed in our Strategic Plan, it is fundamental to our identity as ‘New York’s law school’ and our vision for how we contribute to building the profession,” said Dean Crowell. “We welcome Paula Edgar to the NYLS team. Through this new position, Paula will help NYLS to realize, and be held accountable for, its commitment to be among the most inclusive and diverse law schools in New York and beyond.”
Among her duties, Ms. Edgar will work with the NYLS Admissions team to develop strategies to increase the number of applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. In addition to focusing on individuals of different racial and ethnic backgrounds, Ms. Edgar will be responsible for developing outreach programs and enhancing existing initiatives for veterans and active military members, the LGBTQ community, and other groups who have been historically underrepresented in the profession.
Ms. Edgar will coordinate a new Diversity Council dedicated to increasing diversity in the legal profession. Led by Dean Crowell, the Council will include members of the Board of Trustees, faculty, administrators, students, alumni, and leaders from the legal, business, government, and nonprofit sectors.
“The appointment of Paula Edgar is an important step in our efforts to enhance recruitment, retention, and mentoring of diverse constituencies across the Law School,” said Deborah Archer, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Professor of Law, and Director of NYLS’s Racial Justice Project and the Civil Rights Clinic. “I look forward to working with Paula to make NYLS a leader in developing and implementing innovative and meaningful programs to engage, support, and bridge the NYLS community to the legal profession.”
Ms. Edgar practiced law for a short time and cultivated a passion for providing guidance, mentoring, and other resources to diverse law students and attorneys. Prior to coming to NYLS, she was an Associate Director of Career Services at Seton Hall University School of Law, where she served as the Chair of the Diversity in the Profession Subcommittee of the law school’s Diversity Council. She previously served as the Executive Director of Practicing Attorneys for Law Students Program Inc. (PALS), a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing diversity in the legal profession and providing mentoring, academic support, and networking opportunities to law students and junior attorneys of color. Prior to working at PALS, Ms. Edgar practiced law in the Law Enforcement Division of the New York City Commission on Human Rights.
Ms. Edgar said, “I look forward to welcoming prospective candidates to New York Law School, students with great potential who reflect the racial, ethnic, cultural, gender, age, and socioeconomic makeup of our city, state, nation, and world. They will thrive at this inclusive institution, which provides its student body with incredible tools and opportunities for success.”
Ms. Edgar received her B.A. in Anthropology from California State University (Fullerton) and her J.D. from the City University of New York School of Law. She chairs the New York City Bar’s Diversity Pipeline Initiatives Committee and is a member of the Minorities in the Profession Committee. She is active in a number of diversity-related community organizations, including the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, the Association of Black Women Attorneys, and the Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the New York State Bar Association.
About New York Law School
Founded in 1891, NYLS is an independent law school located in the heart of New York City’s legal, government, financial, and emerging tech centers. Known as “New York’s law school,” NYLS embraces the City as its classroom by complementing a rigorous legal education with an innovative and diverse set of “uniquely New York” experiential learning opportunities. Since opening our doors more than 120 years ago, we have produced graduates who have gone on to hold high elected and appointed office in the City, lead large and small firms, and gain broad recognition as captains of business and industry. Our renowned faculty of prolific scholars has built the School’s strength in such areas as constitutional law, civil and human rights, business and finance law, media and information law, tax law, real estate, and a number of interdisciplinary fields. NYLS has more than 15,000 graduates and currently enrolls approximately 1,200 full-time and part-time students in its J.D. program and 95 students in its five advanced-degree programs in American business law, financial services law, real estate, tax, and mental disability law studies. Learn more about New York’s law school at www.nyls.edu.