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Pepperdine Caruso Law Announces Appointment of Chalak Richards (JD '12) as Assistant Dean of Student Life, Diversity, and Belonging

Laine Kontos (JD ‘98) Joins Caruso Law as Assistant Dean of Career Development

July 1, 2020  | 2 min read

Pepperdine Caruso Law is proud to announce changes to its leadership team effective today, July 1. 

Chalak Richards, who served as Assistant Dean of Career Development from 2018–2020, has been named as the first Assistant Dean of Student Life, Diversity, and Belonging. Established in early 2020, the office of the assistant dean of student life, diversity, and belonging has three overarching goals: to create a community where all are welcomed and recognize they belong, to care for the well-being of each individual student, and to oversee the full student life experience. In her new role, Richards will develop programs to create a community that values and celebrates diversity and work on strategic initiatives and policies that strengthen diversity at all levels - student, faculty, and staff.

Richards will also lead initiatives to care for each student by coordinating faculty, peer, and alumni mentorship and by providing mental health and spiritual life support. She will also oversee student life events and student clubs to ensure that students have rich and meaningful community experiences.

Laine Kontos, a 1998 alumna of Pepperdine Caruso Law, is the new Assistant Dean of Career Development, assuming the role previously held by Richards. 

Prior to joining the Career Development Office, Laine practiced as a criminal defense lawyer, following a decade-long career as an attorney with the Los Angeles County Public Defender's Office. Before joining the Public Defender, Laine was an attorney with Dependency Court Legal Services. She represented and advocated for the interests and rights of minors removed from their parents' or guardians' care.

In the Career Development Office, Kontos will lead the office in strategic planning; establish relationships and work closely with employers to develop career opportunities; organize career forums and alumni networking events; and advise students and alumni in career planning, job search strategies, resume preparation, interviewing skills, and networking in legal and professional markets.

With the announcement of these new appointments, we look forward to an exciting and productive 2020–2021 academic year.