Administrator joins task force to support Hispanic representation in law school leadership

Krista Contino Saumby, associate director of career development in Elon Law's Office of Career and Student Development, is among a group educators and attorneys who will assist the Hispanic National Bar Association with strengthening Latino representation in the legal academy.

An Elon Law career advisor and instructor is among an influential group of legal educators named to a new task force aimed at addressing “the alarming lack” of Hispanic/Latino representation among American law school administrators and faculty.

The Hispanic National Bar Association launched this spring its National Task Force on Hispanic Law Faculty and Deans, which includes Krista Contino Saumby, associate director of career development at Elon Law.

In addition to representation, the task force looks to address a shortage of professional development resources specifically for Hispanic/Latino professors, deans, and other administrators.

According to a news release from the Hispanic National Bar Association, the task force will:

  • Oversee the development of annual summer nationwide online workshops for prospective and existing Hispanic/Latino law faculty and law school deanship aspirants
  • Plan in-person “how to become a law professor” workshops at the annual HNBA conferences
  • Assist with matching law faculty and law dean aspirants with suitable mentors
  • Support the professional development of and networking opportunities for currently appointed Hispanic/Latino law faculty
  • Promote better data tracking by national accreditation and membership associations
  • Promote more Hispanic/Latino representation in the legal professoriate and decanal ranks

Contino 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.

Prior to entering legal education, Contino leveraged her electrical and computer engineering degree from Carnegie Mellon University and law degree to counsel Fortune 500 companies such as Google, Apple, Adobe, Yamaha, and Boeing in patent law. 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 a year-long required course, “Lawyering, Leadership, and Professionalism”, each year for the incoming class.

Members of the Task Force

  • Raquel M. Matas (Co-Chair), former Associate Dean for Administration at the University of Miami School of Law
  • Anthony E. Varona (Co-Chair), Dean and Professor at Seattle University School of Law
  • Dolores S. Atencio, Esq., Visiting Scholar, University of Denver Latinx Center | Sturm College of Law
  • Steven Bender, Professor & Associate Dean for Planning & Strategic Initiatives, Seattle University School of Law
  • Kevin R. Johnson, Dean and Mabie-Apallas Professor of Public Interest Law & Professor of Chicana/o Studies, UC Davis School of Law
  • José Roberto (Beto) Juárez, Jr., Dean & Professor, Nova Southeastern University Broad College of Law
  • Jenny Martinez, Lang Professor of Law and Dean, Stanford Law School
    Margaret Montoya, Professor Emerita of Law (and Medicine), University of New Mexico
  • Jennifer Rosato Perea, Dean & Professor of Law, DePaul University College of Law
  • The Hon. Jenny Rivera, Associate Judge, New York Court of Appeals
  • Ediberto Román, Professor of Law, Florida International University College of Law
  • Krista Contino Saumby, Esq., Associate Director of Career Development, Elon University School of Law
  • Paulina Vera, Professorial Lecturer in Law, George Washington University Law School