Fortino Dickson awarded law degrees

Gina Fortino Dickson. Photo by Steven Yeager.

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — Lower Lake High School alumna Gina Fortino Dickson was awarded dual Juris Doctor and Master of Legal Studies degrees from Empire College School of Law in Santa Rosa on June 5.

She graduated with cum laude honors and was recipient of the Labe Lebowitz Award which recognizes perseverance and inspiration in overcoming adversity in the completion of law school.

Before attending law school, Fortino Dickson earned a paralegal certificate from San Diego City College, an A.A. degree from Santa Rosa Junior College, and a B.A. in Liberal Studies from Sonoma State University.

Fortino Dickson grew up in Lake County where her passion for the law was sparked by her time in student government.

Over the years, she has served her communities in governmental positions, including as vice mayor and city council member of Clearlake and as a member of the Sonoma County Child Care Planning Council.

She is currently serving as a Town of Windsor Park and Recreation commissioner.

As a law student, she worked in the elder law, legal aid and small claims clinics. She was the 2020 Sonoma County Women in Law Scholarship recipient and the 2019 Olga Gracey Scholarship recipient.

The daughter of Tom and Linda Fortino of Clearlake, she and her husband Michael Dickson reside in Windsor with their two children.

Founded in 1973, Empire College School of Law has small sections and class sizes that encourage a strong sense of community, accomplished faculty who are practicing attorneys or judges, and an array of clinical education opportunities for students to acquire practical experience applying the law and working with clients. Its alumni comprise approximately 25% of the Sonoma County Bar.

Fifteen alumni are now members of the California judiciary in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, Lake, Lassen, Merced, and Calaveras counties; a 16th alumna is a member of the Arizona judiciary.

For additional information on Empire College School of Law, call 707-546-4000 or visit