Professor Leilani Tuala-Warren Appointed Dean of Law Faculty at Waikato University

Now with her appointment as Dean, Tologata Tafaoimalo has achieved another milestone, becoming New Zealand’s first Pacific Dean of Law, while retaining a temporary judicial warrant as a Supreme Court Justice in Samoa.

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Press release, Pacific at University of Waikato, 15 July 2024. The University of Waikato have announced the appointment of Tafaoimalo Tologata Professor Leilani Tuala-Warren to the role of Dean of Te Piringa Faculty of Law, commencing Monday 1 July 2024.

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Professor Tuala-Warren has been part of the University of Waikato since the 1990s, when she completed undergraduate and Master of Laws degrees before beginning her legal career in Samoa.

Serving as a state solicitor in Samoa’s Office of the Attorney-General from 1998 to 2000, she returned to the University to teach for five years before embarking on private practice in Samoa.

In 2009 Professor Tuala-Warren became Executive Director of the Samoa Law Reform Commission, before becoming the second woman in Samoa to be appointed as a judge of the District Court several years later.

As a newly appointed judge, she established a Family Court and the only Family Violence Court in the Pacific outside New Zealand.

Appointment as Supreme Court Judge of Samoa followed in 2016, as well as recognition with a University of Waikato Distinguished Alumni Award in 2022.

Professor Tuala-Warren returned again to the University in 2023, becoming New Zealand’s first Pacific woman appointed a Professor of Law.

Now with her appointment as Dean, she has achieved another milestone, becoming New Zealand’s first Pacific Dean of Law, while retaining a temporary judicial warrant as a Supreme Court Justice in Samoa.

We are so proud of Professor Tuala-Warren and wish her all the best in her new role.

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