Daniel P. Santos JD'86

Distinguished Alumni Citation

Daniel “Danny” Santos, who recently retired as associate dean at Willamette College of Law, also spent 24 years serving four Oregon governors as legal counsel and policy advisor. 

Raised in California, Santos spent summers working in the fields of the Imperial and San Joaquin Valleys.  Before law school, he worked in migrant education, helping migrant children and families. During law school at Willamette he worked for Legal Aid, then continued a career of servant leadership, helping governors, Oregonians and students on of issues including education, social justice, tribal sovereignty, and agricultural labor issues. Santos has also served as a supervisor and mentor to hundreds of students, interns and law clerks.

Recognition for his work includes a Willamette law scholarship named in his honor; the Paul J. De Muniz Professionalism Award (Oregon Hispanic Bar Association); the Judge Mercedes Deiz Award (Oregon Women Lawyers); the Literacy Trailblazer Award (Mid-Valley Literacy Center); Keeping the Dream Alive – Lifetime Achievement Award (World Arts Foundation); and the Southern Oregon University Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Santos continues his commitment to social justice, education and the arts through his service on numerous boards.