Donald P. Baker joined the Claremont Graduate University Board of Trustees in 2002. He serves on its Executive Committee and is chairman of its Committee on Facilities and Infrastructure. He was appointed Board of Trustees Vice Chair in 2018.
A longtime attorney, Baker retired from partnership at Latham & Watkins LLP on June 30, 2007. He joined the firm’s Los Angeles office in 1973 and became a partner in 1981. He practiced in the areas of real estate development, land use entitlements, and foreign investment transactions, and his clients have included individuals, corporations, nonprofit organizations, and universities.
Baker’s land use entitlements practice has included strategic planning and community and political relations. He has represented the J. Paul Getty Trust in development of the Getty Center in Brentwood and the master planning and development of the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades; the University of California in connection with campus planning and building projects at UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, and UCLA; numerous schools, churches, and temples in school and temple expansion projects, including Stephan S. Wise Temple, Sinai Temple, Curtis School, and Chadwick School; the Santa Catalina Island Company and the Santa Island Conservancy in the formation and initial operations of the Conservancy; and community institutions, including the Kidspace Childrens Museum and the Western Justice Center Foundation in Pasadena, the Latino Theatre Company, and the Westside Children’s Center. His practice has also included representation of developers in significant commercial, office, and residential projects.
Baker has served as chairman of the Japan America Society of Southern California, president of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and president of the Western Justice Center Foundation. Baker is also a member of the boards of directors of the Japan America Society of Southern California, the Western Justice Center Foundation, the Communications Institute, and the California Art Club. He is a recipient of the prestigious Shattuck-Price Memorial Award given by the Los Angeles County Bar Association and of a commendatory resolution for service to the community and the legal profession from the Los Angeles City Council.
Baker has also been a member of the American Bar Association, for which he served as a director of its Young Lawyers Division and as a delegate to its House of Delegates. He is also a member of the International Bar Association, the National Association of College and University Attorneys, the State Bar of California, and former member of its Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation. In addition, Baker has served as member of the board of directors of the University of Redlands Alumni Association and of the UCLA Law School Alumni Association. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a past president of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Barristers, and a former director and officer of the Los Angeles County Bar Foundation.