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Western New England University Law Dean Named to Lawyers of Color Power List

SPRINGFIELD, MA- Sudha Setty, Dean of the School of Law at Western New England University, was named to the Lawyers of Color’s Power List 2020 by the Lawyers of Color, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting diversity in the legal profession and advancing democracy and equality in marginalized communities. The Power List recognizes the most influential minority attorneys and allies in the nation.

“I am proud to serve as dean of Western New England University School of Law, which is characterized by a student-centered and community-based ethos in which different beliefs, backgrounds, and opinions are critical components of a well-rounded learning environment,” says Setty. “I am honored to have received this distinction bestowed by the Lawyers of Color Foundation.”

Dean Setty is the first woman of South Asian descent to serve as dean of an ABE-accredited law school. She became Dean of the School of Law in 2018, and has served on the faculty since 2006. She is the cofounder of the School of Law’s Color of Law Roundtable Series, a speaker series that focuses on bringing attorneys and judges of color to discuss their career paths and how they have managed challenges they faced as law students and practicing lawyers.

Setty was a visiting scholar at the University of Cape Town Faculty of Law in 2018, a Fulbright Senior Specialist at the Chinese University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law in 2014, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Connecticut School of Law in 2011. She was awarded Western New England School of Law’s Catherine J. Jones Professor of Year Award in 2009, 2016, and 2018; was recognized in 2015 as Trailblazer by the South Asian Bar Association of Connecticut; and received the 2017 Tapping Reeve Legal Educator Award from the Connecticut Bar Association. In July 2018, she was elected to membership in the American Law Institute and in March 2020 was selected by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly for the Top Women in the Law award.

Prior to joining the faculty of Western New England, Dean Setty was a litigator with the New York firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell, where she focused on antitrust and securities regulation matters. She served as defense counsel in civil, regulatory, and criminal matters involving national security issues, including terrorism financing investigations and lawsuits, and a pro bonomatter challenging sentencing guidelines for those convicted of terrorist acts.  Her pro bono practice also included litigating federal civil rights cases, working on state constitutional challenges to immigration-related ballot initiatives, and the mentoring of New York City high school students. Dean Setty graduated as a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar from Columbia Law School and received her A.B. in History (concentration in comparative civil rights) with honors from Stanford University.

To learn more about Western New England University School of Law’s commitment to diversity visit

Having just celebrated its Centennial, Western New England University is a private, independent, coeducational institution. Located on an attractive 215-acre suburban campus in Springfield, Massachusetts, Western New England serves 3,825 students, including 2,580 full-time undergraduate students. Undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs are offered through Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering, Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and the School of Law.