Valerie D. James, J.D., Esq.

Assistant Dean of Student Affairs

J.D., University of Arkansas Little Rock,  William H Bowen School of Law

B.A., Professional and Technical Writing and Criminal Justice, University of Arkansas Little Rock

As assistant dean for student affairs for the Graduate School of Management (GSM), James leads the teams responsible for admissions, enrollment management, and student services for the UC Davis MBA programs. 

James has 20 years of legal experience and over 11 years of higher education, professional student experience working in the areas of admissions and student affairs with specific oversight in the area of university and professional school administration, concurrent law and graduate programs, diversity and inclusion pipeline initiatives, and strategic policy and operation administration for public education institutions. She has served as an adjunct professor teaching law experiential, academic success skills and freshmen experience courses. 

James recently served as the chief operating officer for an underserved, minority K-12 school district in rural Arkansas. Before that experience, James served as the founding assistant dean of admissions and scholarships for the University of North Texas at Dallas College of Law from 2013 to 2020 leading its admissions, enrollment management, scholarship programming and administration, diversity initiatives, policy administration and admissions compliance and accreditation. 

From 2009 to 2013, James served as the assistant dean for admissions, scholarships and student affairs for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. She led the school’s administrative and student programming, including admissions, enrollment management, scholarships, student affairs and diversity initiatives.    

James is a 2008 alumna of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law where she earned her Juris Doctor degree with honors. She focused her professional legal career in commercial litigation, business law, and employment law practice areas and higher education work in leadership, administration and programming for professional law and graduate students. 

James received B.A. degrees with honors in criminal justice and professional and technical writing from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2003. James is a licensed attorney in Arkansas since 2008 and is a member of the Arkansas Bar, Arkansas Bar Association, Dallas Bar Association, various affinity bar associations, and an alumna of the Dall Bar Association We Lead (Women Empowered to Lead) inaugural leadership class of 2018.

In her spare time, James is an avid runner who loves to travel, listen to live music, paint and spend time with her husband and family.