Elon Law administrator takes leadership role with Hispanic bar association

Krista Contino Saumby, who mentors and advises law students as associate director of career development, will develop programming and networking opportunities for attorneys across the Carolinas as a regional president of the Hispanic National Bar Association.

Krista Contino Saumby

A new addition to Elon Law’s Office of Career and Student Development also has a new leadership role in a professional association now celebrating its 50th anniversary year.

Krista Contino Saumby was formally elected in September to the role of regional president for Region VI of the Hispanic National Bar Association, the country’s largest professional organization to represent and advocate on behalf of Hispanic attorneys.

The Hispanic National Bar Association is divided into 19 regions encompassing the United States, Puerto Rico, and its territories. Regional presidents serve concurrently as members of the association’s Board of Governors.

Contino’s two-year term representing the Carolinas allows her an opportunity to develop a team of deputies to ensure the region has programming, networking and mentoring events, and conduct fundraising for law school scholarships on behalf of an underrepresented community in the practice of law.

Hispanic attorneys comprise just 5% of all lawyers in the United States, according to statistics compiled by the American Bar Association, while the general population is more than 18% Hispanic.

Contino said she looks forward to developing pipeline events through her role as regional president to encourage Hispanic undergraduate students to consider legal careers.

“My goals are to mentor and forge a greater network of Hispanic attorneys and connect them to each other,” Contino said. “It’s another opportunity to tell people about Elon Law, its program, and how it’s unique among law schools.”

Contino has been an advocate and educator committed to simplifying the path to success for first generation law students throughout a 15-year legal career focused on patent law with work for law firms of various sizes, including a solo practice.

Prior to entering legal education, Contino leveraged her electrical and computer engineering degree from Carnegie Mellon University to counsel Fortune 500 companies such as Google, Apple, Adobe, Yamaha, and Boeing.

She joined the Office of Career & Student Development in June 2022 and, in addition to mentoring students who seek her expertise for career assistance, teaches “Lawyering, Leadership, and Professionalism” each year for the incoming class.