Tirien Angela Steinbach joins Stanford Law School as Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Tirien Angela Steinbach joins Stanford Law School as Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 2
Associate Dean Tirien Steinbach

Stanford, CA – June 17, 2021, – Stanford Law School (SLS) today announced that Tirien Angela Steinbach will join the school on July 12, 2021, as the Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), a new position created as part of the Dean’s DEI Initiative launched in 2020. The initiative represents SLS’s commitment to expand and develop innovative policies and practices across the entire institution to ensure that the law school is a model for 21st century legal education in a diverse society.

“We are thrilled that Tirien has joined the SLS community and look forward to benefiting from her expertise as we continue our work in this area,” said Jenny Martinez, dean and Richard E. Lang Professor of Law. “We feel strongly that addressing issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion must be a foundation of legal education so that our students will be prepared to lead, innovate and solve problems in the real world. Lawyers must be able to understand and work across differences in background and perspective to provide competent representation. In a deeply polarized society, one struggling to meet the challenges of racism and many other forms of injustice, these skills are imperative.”

In this role, Steinbach will have broad responsibility for designing new programming and strategy, bringing an equity analysis to institutional decision-making, and providing counseling to students. She will also serve as the primary liaison between students, faculty, and staff on issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the student experience.  Steinbach will report to the dean and serve as a member of the law school’s senior management team. 

Norman Spaulding, the Nelson Bowman Sweitzer and Marie B. Sweitzer Professor of Law, who served as the dean’s special advisor on the law school’s DEI Initiative while the search for the new associate dean was ongoing, will be stepping down from that role with Steinbach coming on board. He will continue to work on important projects launched this year such as the Stanford DEI Clearinghouse, the first national index of research, teaching materials, and assessment evidence on diversity, equity, and inclusion; the Sallyanne Payton Fellows program, a fellowship to mentor SLS students from underrepresented groups interested in law teaching; the ePluribus project, a program designed to foster relationships and dialogue across differences at SLS; and the Committee on Teaching and Classroom Climate, which has developed innovative teacher trainings on inclusive pedagogy for SLS faculty. “I am extremely grateful to Prof. Spaulding for spearheading DEI work over the last year and for launching so many important projects that will enrich our community and the profession for years to come,” Martinez said.  

“I am so excited to take up the mantle of the important work Stanford Law has done in DEI and work collaboratively with students, staff and faculty to elevate and advance these efforts,” said Steinbach. “At its core, DEI work is about creating a robust culture of belonging, acknowledging and removing barriers to belonging, and actively working to the create the “Beloved Community” we hope to see in the world. I am thrilled that Stanford Law is investing deeply in this challenging, yet rewarding and necessary, DEI work.” 

Prior to joining SLS, Steinbach served for seventeen years as a lawyer, clinical supervisor, program director, and then executive director of the East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC), the community-based clinical program for Berkeley Law School and largest provider of free legal services and policy advocacy in Alameda County. At EBCLC, Steinbach founded the Clean Slate Clinic, the nation’s first reentry clinic, and oversaw the creation and expansion of EBCLC programs, including community economic justice, consumer justice, education advocacy, immigration, and youth defender clinics. 

Most recently, Steinbach served for two years as the chief program officer at the ACLU of Northern California. In this capacity, she provided support and guidance to the four programmatic departments: Legal & Policy, Communications, Organizing, and California Advocacy & Policy (statewide legislation). She also conducted classes and trainings on increasing mindfulness and cultural responsiveness in the law and legal profession. In 2017, she launched the Coalition for Equity and Inclusion in Law, a Bay Area regional cohort of law and policy organizations dedicated to advancing greater cultural equity, inclusion, and diversity in the sector. 

Steinbach received her bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Cruz and her law degree from Berkeley Law School, where she served as a co-president of the Berkeley Law Foundation and a vice president of the Law Students of African Descent. She has been recognized for her social justice legal work, receiving both Equal Justice Works and Berkeley Law Foundation fellowships, the inaugural Thelton E. Henderson Social Justice Prize, the 2015 Berkeley Law Young Alumna Award, and the 2017 Alameda County Woman Lawyer of Distinction Award. 

About Stanford Law School

Stanford Law School is one of the nation’s leading institutions for legal scholarship and education. Its alumni are among the most influential decision makers in law, politics, business, and high technology. Faculty members argue before the Supreme Court, testify before Congress, produce outstanding legal scholarship and empirical analysis, and contribute regularly to the nation’s press as legal and policy experts. Stanford Law School has established a model for legal education that provides rigorous interdisciplinary training, hands-on experience, global perspective and focus on public service, spearheading a movement for change.