Leticia M. Diaz
Dean and Professor of Law
PhD, Rutgers University, Newark (Organic Chemistry)
J.D., Rutgers University, Newark
MS, Rutgers University, Newark
BS, Bloomfield College
Leticia M. Diaz is one of the founding faculty of Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law and was appointed dean in 2007. During her tenure as dean, the law school has emerged as a leader in legal education in Florida, featuring nationally recognized Moot Court and Trial Team programs, a growing faculty, and a $7 million expansion of its campus with the opening of a 32,400-square-foot Legal Advocacy Center in 2011. Diaz is the first Cuban-American female to hold the position of dean at an ABA-accredited law school in the United States.
Under Diaz’s leadership, Barry Law School’s student enrollment has increased nearly 40 percent – from 571 in 2006 to 793 in 2013. Diaz was instrumental in launching the Summer in Spain study abroad program in 2009, and the school has opened three centers: the Juvenile Justice Center, the Juvenile Life Without Parole Defense Resource Center, and the Center for Earth Jurisprudence. The school’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program has been honored for its service to the community eight years in a row by the American Bar Association.
Diaz’s publications range from analysis of the FDA’s role in consumer protection to areas of environmental law with a focus on consumer health. In 2009 she spoke at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government on international piracy issues, with an emphasis on environmental law.
Her professional involvement includes serving on the ABA Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities. She has taken a leadership role on Hispanic issues, including penning an article on the DREAM Act that was entered into the Congressional Record in December 2010 and hosting a White House Hispanic Action Summit at the law school in September 2011. She and alumni met with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor in December 2011 when the inaugural group of Barry Law lawyers was sworn in to practice before the Supreme Court. Diaz is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando.
Diaz was listed as one of 25 influential Hispanics in Central Florida in a 2012 issue of Visiónmagazine, a publication of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando. She received the Outstanding Hispanic Female in the Legal Field award at the inaugural Hispanic Women Who Make the Difference Awards in 2008 and earned “Leading Lawyers” recognition from the South Florida Business Journalin 2009. In 2013, Diaz was named Outstanding Female in Education during La Prensa’s Mujeres Destacadas awards.
Before joining Barry’s faculty, Diaz practiced law in the areas of personal injury, toxic torts, and workplace chemical exposure, while teaching part-time at the law school. She currently teaches in the area of environmental law, environmental justice, toxic torts, and product liability.
Diaz earned her Juris Doctor degree at Rutgers Law School in New Jersey in 1994. Prior to entering law school, she earned her PhD in organic chemistry from Rutgers University. She spent two years as a postdoctoral research chemist at Hoffman-LaRoche in New Jersey, where she primarily worked on the synthesis of anti-HIV compounds.
Dean Leticia Diaz’s publications can be found on the Social Science Research Network.