H. Nyree Gray
Associate Dean/Dean of Students and Diversity Affairs and Associate Professor of Law
B.A., Social Welfare, 1996, University of California, Berkeley; J.D., 1999, Southwestern Law School; Member, California State Bar
Phone: (213) 738-6871
Nyree Gray brings a unique multifaceted perspective as an alumna, practicing lawyer, faculty member and administrator to her role as Southwestern's Dean of Students and Diversity Affairs. Appointed to the post in August 2010, Dean Gray is responsible for planning, coordinating and implementing a variety of programs and services designed to assist and support students in achieving academic and personal success. She enjoys working with individual students and serving as "a resource to help them cope with the rigors of balancing life and law school," and coordinates efforts with other departments and faculty to meet various student needs. A founding co-director of Southwestern's new Negotiation Honors Program, she teaches in the areas of negotiation, race and law, and Advanced Legal Topics. Dean Gray also supervises Southwestern's Diversity Affairs initiatives.
"I understand students' concerns about academic performance, choosing the 'right' courses and externships, financial issues, and successfully entering a competitive legal market."
Dean Gray was named as the law school's first Director of Diversity Affairs in May 2007. During the next three years, her efforts resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of students from underrepresented groups enrolling in and successfully completing their J.D. program at Southwestern. She was instrumental in the creation of several programs aimed at ensuring the academic success of all students such as the Dean's Fellows Program, the Academic Excellence Academy, the Early Bar Program, and Bar Advantage. Dean Gray works closely with the student leaders and faculty advisors of the various minority student groups, and facilitates networking with minority bar associations and individual members of the bench and bar.
As an alumna of Southwestern, Professor Gray knows first-hand both the exhilaration and stress of law school. "I understand students' concerns about academic performance, choosing the 'right' courses and externships, financial issues, and successfully entering a competitive legal market," she explains.
Dean Gray practiced law for seven years and was a member of the law school's adjunct faculty, teaching Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiating and serving on the Faculty Ad Hoc Bar Examination Task Force prior to her full-time appointment. Her areas of practice included contractual litigation, labor and employment law. A "Southern California Super Lawyer Rising Star" (a distinction for lawyers considered in the top 2.5 percent of their practice area), Professor Gray litigated plaintiff employment discrimination claims in the areas of race, age, gender and sexual harassment in both state and federal courts, and successfully argued before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. She has been a featured lecturer on employment law, alternative dispute resolution and conflict management at the University of California, Irvine, and the University of California, Riverside, and has served as a panel attorney for the NAACP and as a Mock Trial Judge for the Constitutional Rights Foundation.