Being a member of the legal profession demands diverse excellence. Kelly Capen Douglas, general counsel for the University of San Diego, has consistently delivered in this capacity since she arrived at the institution in 2005.
Douglas oversees and manages all the university’s legal affairs. She’s responsible for a wide range of legal issues that relate to the university’s activities and operations, including employment and faculty matters, student issues, policy development, intellectual property matters, contract development and review, campus safety, athletics, government regulations and other matters pertinent to institutions of higher education.
Douglas is not only a quality, competent lawyer for USD, but she’s also elevated the position.
“Kelly created the first Office of General Counsel at USD, thus her ‘fingerprints’ are visible throughout a range of contributions she makes to the university,” said USD President Mary E. Lyons, PhD. “The clarity of her communications and professional demeanor generate great trust and confidence among those whom she encounters. Her own conduct and engagement in university life reflect so well the values the university espouses. She continues to be involved in her community and in professional societies, and assuming leadership positions.”
She’s been an active member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA), the country’s leading bar association for lawyers who practice in higher education, since 2005. Douglas currently serves on NACUA’s Board of Directors and has been a member of various NACUA committees. Her leadership capability is unquestionable and highly visible.
“She’s become a highly respected general counsel among her peers at NACUA,” Lyons said. “She is a gifted analyst whose common sense approach makes her an invaluable asset to the university’s executive team. She recently assumed the leadership of a critical and much-needed updating of the university’s policies, working tirelessly with the many campus constituents and the Board of Trustees to insure that our policies were current and reflect ‘best practice’ in higher education.”
Douglas is active in the San Diego community, too. She serves on the board of directors of Goodwill Industries of San Diego and Imperial counties, is a board member for Christ Church Day School and is a graduate of LEAD San Diego. She’s been a frequent speaker to human resources and business groups throughout San Diego County.
“Her generosity is remarkable, including mentoring of our law students,” Lyons said. “A highly respected attorney among her peers in the greater San Diego legal community, Kelly not only serves USD, but she also works tirelessly on behalf of a more just and humane San Diego region.”
Prior to USD, Douglas was a partner in the labor and employment group at Luce Forward Hamilton & Scripps LLP, where she worked from 1993 to February 2005. She led the practice group from 2001 to 2002. At Luce Forward, Douglas specialized in counseling employers in all types of employment-related matters and defended employers in all aspects of litigation in state court, federal court, arbitrations and before governmental agencies.
She graduated with high honors from Duke University School of Law, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif and also was chosen as Outstanding Woman Law Graduate. Douglas received her undergraduate degree in international relations from Stanford University.