BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Christiana Ochoa has been has been named dean of the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, effective Nov. 1, 2022. She is the school’s first-ever Latine dean and one of just eight Latine women ever to serve as the dean of a U.S. law school.
“Professor Christiana Ochoa is a remarkable leader and internationally recognized researcher and scholar with a history of outstanding service to Indiana University,” said IU President Pamela Whitten. “She led the creation of innovative academic programs and immersive experiences for our students, including the Law and Technology Program and Rural Justice Initiative. Her breadth of knowledge and experience is an asset to the Maurer School of Law, and we are thrilled that she will be serving as its dean.”
Ochoa became interim dean of the school in July after serving the law school as executive associate dean and associate dean for research and faculty affairs. She is the Class of 1950 Herman B Wells Endowed Professor at the Maurer School of Law.
IU Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Rahul Shrivastav made the announcement Thursday, Oct. 13.
“Through her many exceptional years of leadership—at IU, Maurer, and internationally—Professor Christiana Ochoa has modeled the kind of legal practice, scholarship, and advocacy we want our students to know is possible in the legal profession,” Shrivastav said. “Christy’s collegiality, vision, and commitment to students and peers is inspiring. I could not be more pleased to welcome her into this new role.”
In addition to her administrative roles at the law school, Ochoa served as associate vice provost for faculty and academic affairs for the IU Bloomington campus, as founding academic director of the IU Mexico Gateway, and as a founding and current associate director of IU’s Center for Documentary Research and Practice. Her research delves into the ways economic activity impacts human and ecological well-being through the lens of international and comparative law with a focus on business and human rights, law and development, international finance, and foreign direct investment.
Ochoa brings her field work to her classroom teaching in the areas of contracts, international law, international business transactions, human rights, and law & development. Her scholarship in these areas has been published and is forthcoming in the Minnesota Law Review, Yale Journal of International Law, Harvard International Law Journal, Virginia Journal of International Law, Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law, Duke Journal of International & Comparative Law, and Human Rights Quarterly, among others. Her work has also been published internationally, including in Germany, Colombia, and Korea. Her first documentary film, “Otra Cosa No Hay” (2014), received film festival acclaim and has been viewed by audiences around the world.
“The Maurer School of Law has a long history of local, national, and international leadership on the most pressing legal and social issues,” Ochoa said. “Our students, alumni, faculty, and staff share the vision that we must continue to contribute invaluable service to the legal profession and society at large, while always striving to ensure that the diversity of the legal profession positively reflects that of the nation. I am deeply honored to be asked to serve as the next dean of this outstanding law school.”
Ochoa has been widely recognized for her research, teaching, and service. Individually, and as part of research teams, she has won competitive funding from sources including the Mellon Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education. In 2015, she was a co-PI for a prestigious Sawyer Seminar on Documentary Media and Historical Transformations.
Ochoa earned her J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she was honored with a Harvard Human Rights Fellowship, Reginald F. Lewis Traveling Fellowship, Irving R. Kaufman Public Interest Fellowship, and Deborah K. Hauger Memorial Fellowship. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in history and American culture from University of Michigan.
Among other innovations, the Maurer school recently added a Family Office Program, the first program in the nation dedicated to training professionals for the rapidly expanding family office services industry; a Rural Justice Initiative, a collaborative program with the Indiana Supreme Court that provides funded student positions to assist trial court judges in rural Indiana counties; and an emerging Law and Technology Program, designed to harness existing strengths within the law school focused on AI, robotics, cybersecurity, big data, legal operations, and other technology-related innovations.
The Maurer School of Law is one of the oldest and most respected public law schools in the Midwest. A charter member of the Association of American Law Schools, the Maurer School is accredited by the American Bar Association and part of the Big 10 Academic Alliance. Each year, residential student enrollment is over 500 students, including around 160-190 students in each new entering J.D. class and 30 or more graduate degree students in L.L.M., M.C.L., Ph.D., and S.J.D. degree programs. The Maurer School is a collaborative partner with the O’Neil School’s Bachelor of Science in Law and Public Policy, with the Hamilton Lugar School’s Bachelor of Arts in International Law and Institutions, and with the Luddy School and the Kelley School in the collaborative Master of Science degree in Cybersecurity Risk Management. The Maurer School distinguishes itself from other peers with its distinct global outlook, its deep commitment to public service and the local community, and its outstanding faculty and staff committed to student success and advancing knowledge through sophisticated interdisciplinary research.
Maurer graduates have included the first African American woman to serve on any state supreme court, the first Japanese American admitted to the bar in the U.S., the first woman chief justice of Wisconsin, and the first woman chief justice of Indiana. Its alumni include US Supreme Court Justice Sherman Minton, U.S. Representative Lee Hamilton, and U.S. Senator Birch Bayh.