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Hispanic Heritage Month - Celebrating our Connections with Hispanic/Latinx Members of the Legal Profession

At DePaul's Rinn Law Library we want to highlight DEI issues through the creation of Guides that will highlight the representation of notable members of the legal profession rom various backgrounds

Biographical Information

Now in her second term at DePaul and fifteenth year as a law dean, Jennifer Rosato Perea has served as dean of DePaul University College of Law since 2015. A nationally recognized leader in legal education, Dean Rosato Perea brings a wealth of experience to DePaul as an experienced administrator, a longtime advocate of student engagement and professionalism, and a respected legal scholar.  As the first Latina law school Dean in the country in 2006, and currently one of only a small number of Latina law school deans in the nation, she has been recognized and honored for her commitment to diversity through her presentations on implicit bias, mentoring, and creation of innovative programs.  Most recently, Dean Rosato Perea received the Aguila award, the highest honor bestowed by the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois. 


Dean Rosato Perea earned a BS with distinction from Cornell University and a JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. At Penn, she was editor‐in‐chief of the University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Business Law and won the Edwin R. Keedy Moot Court Competition. She began her legal career as a clerk for Judge Thomas N. O’Neill Jr. of the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, before becoming an associate with Hangley, Connolly, Epstein, Chicco, Foxman & Ewing in Philadelphia.


The biggest inspirations for my career have been the students whom I have had over the years (whether teaching preschoolers while I was in high school and college, or the last 25 years in law school). My students inspire me every day: with their hopefulness and promise, with their aspirations, and with their earnestness. As a first-generation college and law student, I appreciate the importance of education and can identify with my students’ struggles. As an educator, I think about the best ways to engage and inspire my students, and give them the knowledge and skills that they need to succeed. As an administrator, I think about how we can create a learning environment that is student-centered and encourages the students’ professional development and success in their careers.


While Dean Rosato Perea was in college at Cornell, she indicted that at that time there weren’t very many Latino or African American professors or centers for helping Latino students, you were just alone. She further stated that, I was used to being the lone Latino in the community because I grew up in a white steel town, but it was kind of a shock to be on a college campus of a private school with all these affluent people around me.

I got really discouraged and my parents came up to campus and sat with me in my dorm room and said, “You are not leaving this college. You have this great opportunity and you need to stay.” It was really one of the most important things they ever did for me.