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News

Touro Law Appoints Director of Diversity and Inclusion


August 13, 2014



Touro Law Dean Patricia Salkin is pleased to announce that Erica Edwards-O’Neal has been appointed Director of Diversity and Inclusion. In her new role, she will provide leadership and training on matters relating to valuing diversity and cultural competence, and she will assist the dean in guiding the development and implementation of a comprehensive plan focused on embedding effective diversity and inclusion practices for the law school. Edwards-O’Neal will continue in her role as Senior Director of Career Services as well.

“Erica has always played an important role in Touro Law’s diversity employment and pipeline programs and now will be responsible for enhanced programming and the development of a diversity and inclusion plan for the law school in the areas of recruitment, retention and support programs,” said Dean Salkin. 

Erica Edwards-O'Neal received her Bachelor of Arts in Government and Politics from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA and her Juris Doctor from Touro Law Center. Prior to joining Touro Law’s Career Services Office in 2003, she served as the Director of a legislative advocacy coalition in Nassau County, where she developed and carried out advocacy strategies related to the Nassau County and New York State Budget process on behalf of Nassau’s youth, mental health, substance abuse and child care agencies and the people they serve. Additionally, as a Legal Mentor and Community Development Liaison with the Time Dollar Organization in Washington, D.C., she was instrumental in the establishment of the District’s first Youth Court Diversion Program. She has also served as an Americorp VISTA volunteer, where she assisted in advocating for housing rights legislation and established a New Home Ownership Program for low-moderate income families.

Ms. Edwards-O’Neal is a member of the Amistad Long Island Black Bar Association, Suffolk County Women's Bar, New York City Bar’s Committee on Recruitment and Retention of Lawyers, The National Bar Association and is a newly appointment member of the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. She has served on the Boards of several organizations, including Girls Inc., Urban League/Dowling College GEARUP College Preparatory Program, and Suffolk County Community Council. 

Edwards-O’Neal has conducted a great deal of research on, provided training in and presented on cultural competence and diversity related matters across the country. She stated, “I look forward to both the challenges and rewards that this new role will bring. Touro Law has always provided an open and inclusive environment and values those from varying backgrounds and identities. I am honored at the opportunity to work with the law school community to continue to enhance our cultural and diversity competence.”

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Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center’s 185,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility is located adjacent to both a state and a federal courthouse in Central Islip, New York.  Touro Law’s proximity to the courthouses, coupled with the innovative new Portals to Practice curriculum provide all students with immersive, hands-on learning opportunities in diverse fields of legal practice. Touro Law, which has a student body of approximately 650 and an alumni base of nearly 6,000, offers full- and part-time J.D. programs, several dual degree programs and graduate law programs for US and foreign law graduates. Touro Law Center is part of the Touro College system.

About the Touro College and University System 
Touro is a system of non-profit institutions of higher and professional education. Touro College was chartered in 1970 primarily to enrich the Jewish heritage, and to serve the larger American and global community. Approximately 19,000 students are currently enrolled in its various schools and divisions. Touro College has branch campuses, locations and instructional sites in the New York area, as well as branch campuses and programs in Berlin, Jerusalem, Moscow, Paris and Florida. New York Medical College, Touro University California and its Nevada branch campus, as well as  Touro University Worldwide and its Touro College Los Angeles division are separately accredited institutions within the Touro College and University System. For further information on Touro College, please go to: http://www.touro.edu/media/.



For more info contact:
Patti Desrochers
Director of Communications
pattid@tourolaw.edu
(631) 761-7062