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San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan Commencement Speaker for California Western School of Law

Apr 16 2024
Summer Stephen, San Diego County District Attorney
Summer Stephen, San Diego County District Attorney

SAN DIEGO (April 16, 2024) – California Western School of Law is proud to announce that this year’s Commencement speaker will be Summer Stephan, San Diego County District Attorney. Commencement will take place on April 26, 2024, at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park, San Diego. 

Summer Stephan has devoted her life to protecting children and families, providing justice to the most vulnerable, and is a national leader in the fight against human trafficking and sexual exploitation. Earlier this year, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland gave Ms. Stephan the Meritorious Public Service Award, the top public service award in the nation for service in support of justice.

Ms. Stephan rose through the ranks fighting for justice in the trenches before San Diego County voters overwhelmingly elected her as District Attorney in 2018 and again in 2022. As District Attorney, she leads the second-largest DA’s Office in California, and the fifth largest in the United States, managing a professional staff of 1,000 employees, serving as the People’s Prosecutor for San Diego County and its more than three million residents. Ms. Stephan leverages her extensive courtroom, management, and leadership experience to set clear public safety priorities in collaboration with law enforcement and the community, keeping San Diego County one of the safest urban regions in the United States. In 2022, Ms. Stephan was named one of “The Five Best Prosecutors in America,” utilizing evaluation factors of integrity, fidelity to the rule of law, responsible innovations, and community relations.

She served as Chief of the DA’s North County Branch and Chief of the Sex Crimes and Human Trafficking Division, a special victims unit she pioneered.

As the District Attorney, Ms. Stephan opened a state-of-the-art Family Justice Center in the North County for victims of domestic violence and elder abuse. She launched a juvenile diversion program that diverted hundreds of kids away from the school to prison pipeline. Her office tripled the prosecutions of hate crimes. Ms. Stephan also formed a specialized team to effectively combat Organized Retail Crime. 

Ms. Stephan holds leadership positions in public safety nationally and locally, including serving as President-Elect of the National District Attorneys Association, and co-chair of the National Association of Women Judges Human Trafficking committee. She is the recipient of numerous local, state, and federal awards. 

Ms. Stephan received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Davis and her Juris Doctor from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.