Interview with Irene Condella

Irene Condella, Asst. Director for J.D. Student Affairs

It’s a new year, a new semester, and we also have a new face in Student Affairs.  Meet Irene Condella, the Assistant Director for J.D. Student Affairs.  “I’m thrilled to be here!” said Condella, who grew up in Rancho Penasquitos.  “As a San Diego native, it’s wonderful to work at such a great San Diego institution.  The campus is beautiful, and everyone is so friendly!”

Condella received her B.A. in Political Science and Geography/Environmental Studies at UCLA.  While there, she also competed on the Women’s Rowing team.  “Being a part of UCLA rowing was incredible.  It really taught me the meaning of teamwork.  It’s amazing what can get accomplished when you work together.”  As an athlete, she also became involved with the Bruin Athletic Council, which, as Condella explained, “is like SBA for athletes.”

After UCLA, Condella attended UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco.  “After receiving my B.A. in Environmental Studies, I went to law school because I was very interested in environmental law.”  While in law school, Condella was a member of the West-Northwest Journal of Environmental Law & Policy and spent a semester with the Hastings Civil Justice Clinic.  She was also a 2L representative in Hastings’ SBA and went on to become the co-3L Class President.  “It’s sort of interesting how I became involved in my SBA.  I went to law school thinking, ‘I’m only going to be a student.’  But after my first year, I felt that something was missing.  Working with student groups is in my DNA; I don’t know why I tried to change that.  So I became heavily active in my SBA for the last two years in law school, and it really made for a better law school experience for me.”

During her time at Hastings, Condella’s career path took a surprising turn.  “I had a part-time job at the Student Services Office, and I really loved it.  Although I was going to school to become a lawyer, I found working with students to be very rewarding, and I decided that I would eventually go into law school administration.” 

After graduating from Hastings in 2008, Condella worked as an attorney in San Diego.  But an unexpected opportunity to work as the Student Services Program Coordinator at Hastings came up, and she headed back to San Francisco.  “Working there full-time confirmed that student affairs was where I belonged.  When my position ended, I returned to San Diego and saw that USD was looking for an Assistant Director for J.D. Student Affairs.  And now here I am!”

In her role at USD, Condella will be working closely with the SBA and student organizations.  “I love collaborating with student organizations to find ways to make their events work.  I think that these events really help create a sense of community in law school, which is important.  I want you all to feel supported and included.”  One event that Condella is looking forward to is the Battle of the Brains.  “I love trivia, and I’m really excited to watch the Battle of the Brains!”

Condella encourages you to come visit her in the Student Affairs Office in Room 206.  “I am here to enhance your law school experience, so please don’t be afraid to use me as a resource.  Come by and introduce yourself.  I want to meet all of you!”

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