Dr. Christina A. Toras, J.D., M.A.

Professor, Legal Studies Program Coordinator, Director of the Institute for Law and Public Policy

Department of Humanities


Dr. Toras has 30 years of experience as a licensed, practicing attorney. Prior to joining the faculty at PennWest California, Dr. Toras was employed as general counsel and vice president of real estate for 84 Lumber Co. and Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. A member of the Washington County Bar Association, Dr. Toras is admitted to practice law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Dr. Toras serves as the coordinator of the legal studies programs at PennWest California and as director of the Institute for Law and Public Policy, which provides continuing education for attorneys and law enforcement professionals. She is a recipient of the 2014 Women in Natural Gas (WING) Award and a recipient of the 2015 Pittsburgh Business Times Energy Leadership Awards.


  • “President Obama’s Directives and Homeland Security: The Year in Review”, The Homeland Security Review, Winter 2010.
  •  “The Evolving State of Miranda: Legal and Policy Implications in Law Enforcement”, The Criminal Law Bulletin, Volume 48, Number 1 (2011).
  •  “Technology v. Privacy:  The Legal and Policy Implications of U.S. v. Jones”, The Criminal Law Bulletin, Volume 50, Number 1 (2014).


Research Interests 

  • Case law and public policy
  • Legalese vs. plain language in legal practice
  • Legal ethics
  • B.A.: English, Youngstown State University
  • J.D.: Capital University Law School
  • M.A.: English, East Carolina University

Email: toras@pennwest.edu

Phone: 724-938-4710

Office: Eberly Hall Room 209