2019 Commencement Speaker: Dorian Daley

Dorian Daley’s philosophy has always been to “pay it forward,” which is one of the driving forces behind her lifelong support of the Santa Clara University School of Law. As she often tells friends and colleagues, because Santa Clara Law made an investment in her with a scholarship many years ago, she feels an obligation to return the favor and invest in an institution that has provided her with so many professional opportunities.

On Saturday, May 18, Daley will have another chance to “pay it forward” when she delivers the commencement address to the Class of 2019. In her speech to 223 JD and LLM graduates in the Mission Gardens, along with hundreds of friends, family, and supporters, Daley hopes to inspire the audience with her wisdom and advice gleaned from more than 30 years of legal experience in Silicon Valley.

Daley grew up in Stockton, and after graduating early from her undergraduate program at Stanford University in 1981, she took a job as a legal assistant for Mary Cranston at Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro (now Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman). Cranston, who would go on to become chairman of the firm, inspired Daley to pursue a career in law. “Mary got me very involved in a large, multidistrict litigation case, and she gave me really interesting and exciting work,” said Daley.* “I soon realized that I should go to law school and do this thing right.” She graduated from Santa Clara Law in 1986 and soon after launched her legal career with the commercial litigation group at Landels Ripley & Diamond in San Francisco.

With the rise of the technology sector in the early 1990s, Daley soon set her sights on Silicon Valley. “A friend of mine suggested I look for an in-house position, because, although I am a litigator, I actually like to resolve problems. I also like the complicated issues that large companies often have. I saw an opening at Oracle in a local legal publication and decided to go for it.” She joined Oracle in 1992 and thereafter became vice president and associate general counsel, legal, with management responsibility for the Oracle Litigation group.

Flash forward to today: Daley currently serves as executive vice president and general counsel of Oracle Corporation. She oversees the 500+ member global legal team for the Redwood City, California-based company, ranked #32 on the Fortune 500 with a revenue of $39.8 billion and a worldwide workforce totaling over 137,000.

As general counsel, Daley is an active participant in litigation, dispute resolution, investigations, Oracle’s Compliance and Ethics program, and commercial policy and practice reviews, and she works closely with management and the board of directors to provide legal counsel on myriad tactical and strategic issues affecting Oracle’s growing business and the governance issues it faces. “I have to understand the intricacies of the business,” said Daley, “but my job is to provide legal advice and build out an infrastructure to support management and protect the company and its shareholders.”

As a result of her many trailblazing accomplishments, Daley has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions. In 2015, the editors of The Recorder named Daley one of the Women Leaders in Tech Law, and included her on a list of 10 “Power Players”—lawyers who stand out as mentors and advocates for women in tech. In 2016, the National Association of Women Lawyers honored her and the Oracle legal team with the Challenge Award for the significant number of women in the legal department and in leadership positions at Oracle. National Law Journal also named her as one of America’s 50 Outstanding General Counsel, and Corporate Counsel magazine named her legal department as one of the Best Legal Departments. Recently, the distinguished Burton Awards announced that Daley is among the “Legends in the Law Award” recipients for 2019. These awards go to distinguished general counsels based on outstanding reputations in the legal profession, demonstrated track records in handling complex matters, leadership and integrity.

Closer to home, Santa Clara Law honored her in 2010 with the Diversity Gala Award for being a role model for women and minorities in the legal field, and in 2013 she received the Santa Clara Law Alumni Special Achievement Award, honoring lawyers who lead in their profession, community, and in service to humanity. Daley currently serves as an active member of the Santa Clara Law Advisory Board, and she mentors students through her participation in Women & Law and Chiefs in IP (ChIPs).

“I’m grateful for [the] institution and what it did for me,” said Daley. She and her husband, Michael Krautkramer, are long term supporters of Santa Clara Law, including an early contribution to the new building, Charney Hall. They are also Santa Clara University parents, and recently broadened their support to include an issue that they are both passionate about: Climate Change. Daley and Krautkramer made a five year commitment of $250,000 towards SCU climate neutrality initiative, in honor of Father Engh’s insight into sustainability, green energy, and environmental protection. As part of the SCU Day of Giving, on March 7, more than 200 donors made a gift to SCU’s Sustainability unlocking the first $50,000 challenge grant. Through this challenge, Daley and Krautkramer have invested and encouraged others to invest, in SCU’s climate neutrality initiatives that are designed to help SCU accelerate our efforts to reduce campus greenhouse gas emissions via energy efficiency and renewable energy generation. They hope these efforts will inspire students and enable them to see examples of environmental solutions and strategies.

“There is nothing that’s more important to our political, economic, social stability, the health of our families, and our future generations than focusing on the real dangers of climate change now,” said Daley. “These initiatives accelerate climate neutrality solutions at SCU. Success builds on success, and Mike and I are excited about building upon SCU’s success in a broader environment.”


*Except for those in the last paragraph, all Daley quotes in this article are from this 2013 Profile Magazine article.

Santa Clara University Sustainability Day of Giving Video.

More info on Santa Clara Law Commencement and Daley.