David Lopez joined Rutgers Law School as Co-Dean in August 2018 and was the longest-serving General Counsel of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Dean Lopez was twice nominated to the position by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the United States Senate. He most recently worked as a partner at Outten & Golden in Washington D.C. and is a nationally-recognized expert in Civil Rights and Employment Law. He earned his undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Arizona State University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he has lectured.
Lopez, who joined Rutgers Law School in August 2018, was most recently a member of the firm of Outten and Golden, leading the firm’s Washington D.C. Office. Until December 2016, he served for six years as the General Counsel of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and thus acted as the lead lawyer for the nation’s primary administrative agency charged with enforcing federal employment anti-discrimination laws.
He has a rich and deep background in public interest law and using the legal system to champion the principles of equality and opportunity. He has also taught at Harvard Law School and Georgetown Law Center.
Dean Lopez was twice nominated to the General Counsel position by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the United States Senate. As General Counsel, he led the litigation program for the nation’s primary administrative agency charged with enforcing federal employment anti-discrimination laws and oversaw 15 regional attorneys and a staff of more than 325 people. This included leading high-impact litigation in federal courts nationwide, addressing LGBTQ coverage under the anti-discrimination law, vulnerable immigrant communities, criminal background screens, disability rights, and religious freedom. Prior to joining the EEOC, Dean Lopez was a senior trial attorney with the Civil Rights Division Employment Litigation Section of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington D.C. Previously, he was an associate with Spiegel & McDiarmid LLP in Washington D.C.
Dean Lopez is a widely sought-after speaker who has made more than 50 speeches and presentations before the American Bar Association, state and local bar associations, and various advocacy, non-governmental organizations and universities. He also serves on the board of the ACLU-DC, the Impact Fund (an Oakland-based non-profit offering support to public interest lawyers and communities through training, co-counsel and grants to advance civil rights and social justice), and Toward Justice, a Denver-based non-profit dedicated to advancing economic justice and advocacy.
Dean Lopez is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Attorneys. In 2014, The National Law Journal named him one of “America’s 50 Outstanding General Counsels.” Among the organizations that have recognized him for his work on social justice issues are: the International Religious Liberty Association, which gave him its National Religious Freedom Award, Liberty Magazine, the North American Religious Liberty Association, which cited his work on civil, religious, and employment rights; the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, which gave him its Friend in Government Award in 2012.
He has been called a “Latino Luminary” by the magazine Diversity and the Bar and in 2011 Hispanic Business named him to its list of 100 “Influentials” in the Hispanic community. He earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School and graduated magna cum laude from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science.