CSU General Counsel
Lorena C. Peñaloza
Lorena C. Peñaloza

Lorena C. Peñaloza

Lorena C. Peñaloza joined the Office of General Counsel in January 2008. Her current primary responsibility as University Counsel is advising California State University Sonoma and Humboldt State University. Ms. Peñaloza previously served on the Office of General Counsel Litigation Team, and was responsible for litigating a variety of systemwide and campus-based matters in state and federal courts. She serves as the Office of General Counsel’s resource attorney for Residency, Police, Student Discipline and International Agreements. Prior to joining the Office of General Counsel, Ms. Peñaloza was an Assistant City Attorney with the City Attorney’s Office for the City of Santa Ana. She served as Legal Counsel for the Human Relations Commission, the Workforce Investment Board and the Zoning Administrator. She advised clients on issues involving planning and building regulations, the Public Records Act, the Brown Act, and prepared contracts, resolutions and ordinances. Ms. Peñaloza also served as the Code Enforcement Prosecutor for approximately three and one-half years and handled tort defense litigation for the City of Santa Ana. Ms. Peñaloza began her legal career with the Social Security Administration’s Office of the General Counsel in Maryland through the Presidential Management Fellowship (formerly known as Presidential Management Internship) program. During the fellowship she worked in various federal departments, including the Office of Hearings and Appeals and the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. She then served two years in the SSA’s Office of General Law litigating employment law matters before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Federal Labor Relations Authority, and the Merit Systems Protection Board.


  • J.D., University of California, Hastings College of the Law (1997)
  • B.A., Sociology and Political Economies of Industrial Societies, University of California, Berkeley (1994)

Legal Organizations and Activities:

  • National Association of College and University Attorneys, 2008-Present
  • Web Page Legal Resources Committee, 2013
  • Virtual Seminar Committee, 2010
  • Annual National Conference Committee, 2009
  • Orange County Bar Association, 2005-Present
  • Resolutions Committee, 2005-Present
  • Board, 2008-2010
  • Diversity and Equal Justice Committee, Nominating Committee, 2008
  • Hispanic Bar Association of Orange County, 2004-Present
  • Judicial Evaluations Committee, 2006-Present
  • Board, 2004-2008
  • President, 2007
  • Warren J. Ferguson Inn of Court, 2009-2011
  • Team Leader, 2010
  • Orange County Women Lawyers Association, 2006-2008
  • Statewide California Association of Code Enforcement Officials, 2004-2006
  • California District Attorneys Association, 2003-2006
  • HOPE Leadership Institute, 2005
  • California La Raza Lawyers Association, 2005

Publications, Speaking Engagements, Awards:

  • Keynote Speaker, Inland Empire Future Leaders of America, December 2013
  • “The Honorable Frances Muñoz: A Lifetime of Focus,” OC Lawyer Magazine, May 2007
  • SSA On-the-Spot Award, August 2002
  • SSA Commendable Act or Service Award, March 2002
  • SSA Office of General Counsel Honor Awards, Quality Service Award, April 2000
  • SSA Honor Awards, Commissioner’s Team Award, September 2000
  • SSA Commendable Act or Service Award, September 2000

Telephone No. (562) 951-4500
Fax No. (562) 951-4956
E-mail Address: lpenaloza@calstate.edu

Content Contact:
December Bolden
(562) 951-4500
Technical Contact:
Last Updated: May 13, 2016