PETAL MODESTE ^‘13BUS^Associate Dean of Student Affairs Administration at Columbia Law School

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Petal Modeste is the Associate Dean of Student Affairs Administration at Columbia Law School.   In this capacity, she oversees several of the law school’s student-facing offices, including Career Services and Professional Development, Graduate Legal Studies, Registration Services, Social Justice Initiatives and Student Services.  Prior to assuming this role, Petal served as Dean of the office of Career Services and Professional Development at Columbia Law School.

Petal began her legal career as an associate in the Finance Group at Shearman & Sterling, LLP where she represented lenders, borrowers and underwriters in sophisticated financing transactions. Prior to joining Columbia Law School, she served as Senior Director and Strategic Advisor for Legal Recruiting at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, working with firm management to assess hiring needs and objectives and to develop attorney recruiting strategies and implement initiatives for summer associates, full-time associates, lateral associates and partners.  

Petal is an active member of the American Bar Association, the New York State Bar, and the National Association of Legal Placement. She is often the featured speaker at legal industry conferences and similar fora.  Petal received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Secondary Education, cum laude, from Andrews University, her Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Howard University School of Law (where she was an Editor of the Howard Law Journal and President of the International Moot Court Team) and her MBA from Columbia Business School. 

Petal has served on the board of several non-profits dedicated to positively impacting the lives of women and children, including Sanctuary for Families, the leading nonprofit agency in New York State dedicated to supporting victims of domestic violence, human trafficking and related forms of gender violence.   She is married with two daughters and she and her family split their time between New York, Trinidad & Tobago and Belgium.