Interview with Assistant Dean Emily Scivoletto

Emily Scivoletto, Assistant Dean for J.D. Student Affairs


As every law student will tell you, the first year of law school is far from easy. Not only are you learning a completely new way of thinking, you are scrambling to orient yourself on a new campus, make connections, and stay ahead in your classes. Even though Dean Emily Scivoletto already has her Juris Doctor, she is feeling a bit like a 1L again herself. Not only did she start working at USD less than two months ago, she did not even move down to San Diego until August 12. Additionally, just in case changing jobs and moving to a brand new city was not exciting enough, she and her fiancé got married on August 4.

“It’s been a whirlwind!” said Dean Scivoletto, USD School of Law’s new Assistant Dean for J.D. Student Affairs. “Married, new job, new city. Haven’t really explored yet, but I’m always open to suggestions for things to do. San Diego is our honeymoon!”

Scivoletto, who is coming from University of California, Davis School of Law where she worked as the Director of Academic Success, is thrilled to be at USD.

“I was not really looking to leave Davis, but then this job came up and I said, ‘Wow, what an opportunity.’ I really liked that the student affairs office and academic support was combined. After I met the faculty [here], I said, ‘Yep this is definitely what I want to do.’”

Less than a week after moving into her new home, Scivoletto headed the first big event of the academic year: 1L Orientation. Her office also organizes and runs graduation, but the role she is most excited about is helping students navigate through those three to four years in between.

“I remember being in law school. I’m a big believer in personal responsibility, but I always wished that there was someone at the law school to help with deadlines, tell you when something was happening, and answer your questions, [whether they were] personal or academic,” said Scivoletto. “I want to be that resource for students and student organizations. Come into our office and get helped!”

She encourages students to come in and talk to her about anything and everything, good or bad. Whether you need help deciding on which courses to take next semester or you are feeling stressed about exams, Scivoletto’s door is open to you.

“Stress, anxiety, just having really hard times—I like to hear what’s going on,” said Scivoletto. “But I also want to hear about the good things too! You don’t have to have a problem to come see me.”

Scivoletto, whose maiden name was Randon, is a graduate of UC Irvine (“I’m a proud anteater!”) and the University of the Pacific McGeorge, School of Law. She worked full time as a legislative analyst for the California Association of Realtors while she was in law school. After graduation, she worked for, and was later made a named partner of, Tennant, Ingram & Randon, a law firm in Sacramento. She handled civil rights and insurance defense litigation cases.

“Working for the California Association of Realtors is the [reason I went] to law school. I wanted to go into politics—even maybe be an elected official,” said Scivoletto. “During law school, [however], I realized that I really wanted to be a litigator. I never went back into politics.”

Even though she loved practice, she decided to try working in administration as an academic support counselor first at McGeorge Law School and later at UC Davis because she had really enjoyed mentoring the young associates at her firm. Her years of experience, not only as a litigator but also as an administrator, make her a valuable resource for law students. She also has some advice that she hopes will help every student this year:

“For 1Ls, as hard as it is sometimes, get to know your professors. Talk to them, and get to know them as people. For 2Ls, I know the 2L year is hard because you have so much going on, but [remember to ] take time out for yourself. Do something fun! For 3Ls and anyone taking the Bar Exam in July, come see me about the Bar Exam. My goal is to talk to every single graduating student! Lastly, for the evening students, I was an evening student myself, and I know how difficult it is [to balance everything]. I am here to talk to you about anything I can do to make your life easier.”

Regardless of whether or not you are graduating this year, Dean Scivoletto looks forward to meeting you. Feel free to make an appointment by e-mailing her or stopping by WH 206, or introduce yourself at one of the Dean’s monthly mixers.

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