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KHLF Auction and Intra-School Negotiations Competition

Posted By Kevin R. Johnson, Mar 2, 2015

It was another great weekend at UC Davis School of Law – and it was the students who led the events this weekend.

On Friday evening, the King Hall Legal Foundation held its 37th annual auction supporting public interest fellowships for law students. 

KHLF auction
Photo courtesy of @varun_aery '16 via Twitter.

There were some amazing things on the auction block, including a week for two in Ireland, a night of “Irish revelry” with a group of King Hall’s favorite – and irreverent -- professors, a luxury vacation in Lake Tahoe, autographed pictures of President Obama and Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, some amazing pictures (including one of Robert F. Kennedy and his brother John), a trip to watch the Dodgers beat the Giants at AT&T Park [<--blogger's commentary], and much, much more.  I stopped by to bid on some items and was able to catch up with many students, professors, and alums.  Professors Johns, Shanske, and Ventry were enthusiastically bidding on a wide variety of items.  Legal Service of Northern California  attorneys Gary Smith and Julie Rogado, who teach public interest classes for King Hall, and Amy Williams '05 seemed to be enjoying the festivities.  It was a warm and exciting King Hall evening!

Early Saturday morning, I welcomed the judges – lawyers, alums, mediators, business professionals, professors, and friends – at the 8th Annual Intra-School Negotiations Competition. 

Negotiations Trophy
I took this shot of the coveted trophy.

The competition gives UC Davis School of Law students the chance to hone their negotiations skills and receive valuable feedback from people who spend their days in the negotiations trenches.  The competition is a tribute to professor Donna Shestowsky, who is the enthusiastic, supportive, and knowledgeable leader of the King Hall Negotiations Team (the student sponsor of the competition).  Professor Shestowsky also is one of the scholarly leaders in the field.  Professor Shestowsky missed her first competition, as she was caring for her baby boy, who was born just a few weeks ago. Congratulations, Professor Shestowsky!

Social Psychology and Law Preconference

Posted By Kevin R. Johnson, Mar 2, 2015

I spoke at the Social Psychology and Law Preconference in Long Beach on Thursday.  This preconference featured presentations in the areas of discrimination, procedural justice/social justice, and immigration. Specifically, the discrimination symposium examined explicit and implicit biases in the law. The procedural/social justice symposium looked at legitimacy and perceptions of justice in the legal system.  Finally, the immigration symposium examined the role of social psychology in legislation and policy. The preconference included 10-minute data blitz presentations as well as poster presentations from graduate students and new researchers.     

I offered a talk about the role of race in U.S. immigration law and enforcement, both with respect to the law and its enforcement and the public debate over immigration and immigration reform.

You can learn more about the Social Psychology and Law Preconference at its website:

JJLP Symposium: Healing Our Kids

Posted By Kevin R. Johnson, Feb 23, 2015

Day in and day out, our law students do amazing things.  On Friday, the UC Davis Journal of Juvenile Law and Policy hosted a symposium on a pressing public policy issue.  The symposium was titled, “Healing Our Kids:  Using the Law to Address the Healthcare Needs of Youth in Foster Care, the Juvenile Justice System, and Beyond.”  It is the hard work of dedicated law students that made the symposium a reality.  In particular, law students Sonja Prins and Abby Mulvihill worked hard to organize the symposium.

This symposium addressed the child welfare system’s shortcomings in addressing the well-being of children in state care, and promotes a dialogue about how the law can be used to address these issues.  The panels discussed access to mental health care in the foster care and dependency court systems and analyze the shortcomings of the healthcare services provided to youth in the criminal justice system.  We were lucky to have set of leaders in the field participate in the conference, including including keynote speaker Professor Jonathan Todres from Georgia State University College of Law. 

Keynoter with students
Abigail Mulvihill '16, Professor Jonathan Todres, and Sonja Prins '16

I had the distinct pleasure of welcoming the conference participants and attendees.  I also was honored to introduce our morning speaker and distinguished King Hall alum, Jennifer Rodriguez is a graduate of the UC Davis School of Law Class of 2004.  A former Civil Procedure student of mine (I remember that she sat next to Natasha Ralston), Jennifer is the Executive Director of the Youth Law Center, a national public interest law firm that works to protect the rights of children in the foster care and juvenile justice systems. 

Jennifer with editors
Abigail Mulvihill '16, Jennifer Rodriguez '04, and Sonja Prins '16

Jennifer is a former foster youth who was emancipated at 18 to homelessness.  Her tireless work for foster youth reflects her deep passion for engaging youth and families as the agents of change.  It really was an exciting moment for me to welcome Jennifer to her alma mater, UC Davis School of Law.