Susani Harris has been named senior director for diversity and inclusive excellence at the University of Colorado Law School.
This new position, housed in the Office of Career Development, is designed to help further embed the principles of inclusiveness, facilitate pipeline activities, and connect students and alumni with the profession's efforts to increase diversity.
"I have long been committed to diversity and inclusiveness in the law community and with this new position, I hope to take that commitment to the next level," Harris said. "Colorado Law and Dean (David) Getches have entrusted me to assist and support our diverse student population and I am delighted to accept that challenge."
Previously, Harris was the assistant dean for career development, helping to counsel, assist and encourage students and alumni in their efforts to focus on and explore their career options, develop useful networking skills, prepare effective cover letters and resumes, and develop successful interviewing techniques.
Harris was legal counsel for a settlement consulting firm in Houston from 2003 to 2007. Prior to that, Harris was an attorney at Holland and Hart for 20 years, practicing oil and gas and mining law and served as director of attorney recruitment and professional development, and as director of diversity and professional development.
While at Holland and Hart, she was responsible for the recruitment, hiring, counseling, development, and retention of attorneys, and for guiding and assisting the firm in carrying out its commitment to recruit, hire, retain and promote a diverse attorney workforce. She also provided diversity consulting to numerous clients, other law firms, and corporations.
Harris was the primary drafter of the original Colorado Pledge to Diversity, which was signed by 23 Denver law firms. She also served twice as co-chair of the steering committee for the original Colorado Pledge to Diversity Law Firm Group.
The new position is part of Colorado Law's continuing efforts to place its students in the job market. Colorado Law recently hired a national career expert, Whiting Dimock Leary, to serve as senior assistant dean for students and coordinate student affairs, including the Career Development Office.
"We continue to broaden the career development office efforts and will look to expand our staff," Leary said. "We are taking steps to enhance our local and national outreach efforts and helping to place our students in a broad range of careers that truly reflect the enhanced analytical skills with which they graduate."
A search is under way for a new assistant dean for career development.