Donald Phillip Dorfman


Donald Phillip Dorfman



Donald Phillip Dorfman was born in Evansville, where he graduated (1951) from Benjamin Bosse High School. He then travelled north to attend Indiana University in Bloomington. Dorfman received his A.B. degree from IU in 1954 and then enrolled at the University’s school of law, where he earned his J.D. degree in 1957.

Upon graduating, Dorfman was commissioned a first lieutenant in the Judge Advocate General’s Department of the U.S. Air Force. Following his release from active duty, he settled in Sacramento, California, where he would become a deputy district attorney for the county and a successful criminal defense lawyer. He also continued serving his country in the Air Force Reserve and would eventually retire at the rank of Colonel.

Dorfman’s career has always been guided by his belief that all defendants deserve an ally and advocate of the highest order. Dorfman founded the Sacramento Criminal Lawyers Association and served as its first president. He also served as a member of the Sacramento County Bar Association's Indigent Defense Panel board and the Peer Review Committee.

Dorfman served on the law school’s Board of Visitors (1998-2017), was a member of the IU Alumni Association’s Executive Council, and was the President of the Sacramento chapter of the IU Alumni Association. He establish a needs-based scholarship to assist Maurer law students who need to work to complete their degrees. He has been an active recruiter for both IU and its law school, having single–handedly placed more Maurer graduates in California than any alumnus. In 2006, Dorfman was awarded the Alumni Association’s President's Award. The law school presented Dorfman with its Distinguished Service Award in 2005, while the University presented him with the President’s Circle Laure Pin in 2014. Donald Phillip Dorfman was inducted into the Indiana University Maurer School of Law Academy of Law Alumni Fellows in 2014.


Maurer Alumni, Academy of Law Alumni Fellows, Sacramento California, Distinguished Alumni Award


Criminal Law | Law | Legal Biography | Legal Profession


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Donald Phillip Dorfman