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Summer Associates Reception 2016

Posted By Kevin R. Johnson, Jul 22, 2016

Last night, the Sacramento County Bar Association Barristers’ Club of Sacramento held its 24th annual Summer Associates Reception at the elegant Park Ultra Lounge across the street from the State Capitol.  The event honors the fellows of the Diversity Fellowship program of the Sacramento County Bar Association.  The program offers fellowships to students from underrepresented groups, enabling them to experience the work, requirements, and culture of major law firms and develop the skills, confidence, credentials, and contacts that can help them achieve professional success.

This year, UC Davis School of Law students were awarded 13 of the 15 available fellowships. The Class of 2018 summer fellows are:

  • Apurva Behal (Klinedinst, PC)
  • Bianca Rodriguez (Cook Brown LLP)
  • Dalia Khatib (Jackson Lewis)
  • Dane Jones (Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP)
  • Gretchen Smith (Mastagni Holstedt APC)
  • Jonathan Ogata (Seyfarth Shaw LLP)
  • Jose Rojas (Carothers, DiSante & Freudenberger)
  • Karen Leung (Weintraub Tobin)
  • Kristabel Sandoval (Wilke, Fluery, Hoffeldt, Gould & Birney)
  • Sarah Oh (Porter Scott)
  • Shengmao Mu (Harris & Yempku)
  • Siranush Zhamakochyan (Hanson Bridgett LLP)
  • Subha Patibanda (Downey Brand LLP)

On a warm summer evening, local judges, lawyers, and law students enjoyed meeting informally.  I was pleased to attend the event along with Assistant Dean for Career Services Craig Compton. We visited with a great many friends of King Hall at the reception.  Presiding Justice Vance Raye of the California Court of Appeals and federal judge William Shubb were mingling with students.  I was able to catch up with law students Apurva Behal ‘18, Jose Rojas ‘18, and Kristabel Sandoval ‘18, all of whom were working at law firms and enjoying wonderfully productive summers.  Ben Gevercer ‘18, who’s spending the summer in the California Attorney General's office, was in attendance as was his father, Judge Steve Gevercer, who spoke highly of UC Davis law students. I talked to another judge, Michael Bowman, whose daughter Payslie Bowman ‘18 just completed her first year at King Hall. 

It was great to see Alexandra Guerra (Johnson) and Joel Guerra, two rising King Hall 3Ls who were married this summer.  They told me that they had a large number of UC Davis law students as well as many Cal Bears (where they did their undergraduate work) at their wedding in the Sierras.

All in all, it was a high energy, positive evening with the judges, lawyers, and students.

Staff Appreciation Lunch 2016

Posted By Kevin R. Johnson, Jul 22, 2016

We had our Annual Staff Appreciation Lunch yesterday. It's a law school event that I always look forward to. 

The School of Law truly could not operate without its first-rate staff, and it is nice to celebrate our staff's contributions to King Hall community.  Needless to say, we could not have become a world-class law school in 50 years without the hard work and support of our dedicated staff.  

Faculty and staff enjoyed lunch in a sunny King Hall courtyard.  I acknowledged the new and departing staff.

This year, 11 new staff members joined the King Hall community: 

  • Sara Jackson, Director of Externships
  • Shannon Kahn, Associate Director of Career Services
  • Samantha Wright, Admissions and Financial Aid Assistant
  • Joe Schneider, Director of Admission and Outreach
  • Lisa Harry, Human Resources Analyst
  • Starla Bennett, my Executive Assistant
  • James Astorga, Legal Fellow for UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic
  • Desiree Fairly & David Gomez, Legal Fellows UC Undocumented Legal Services Center
  • Jessica Schroeder, Legal Fellow, California Environmental Law & Policy Center
  • Heather Zimmerman, Legal Fellow – Judicial Law Clerk.

We had two departures this academic year.  Peggy Burris retired from Career Services after 10 years at the University. Kathleen Harbaugh retired as my Executive Assistant after 15 years at UC Davis. I want thank them for their years of dedicated service.

The staff are much appreciated.  I hope that they are proud, as I am, to be a part of UC Davis School of Law.  Thank you, King Hall staff, for everything you do all year long to help us achieve excellence!

Deputy City Attorney by Day, “Scrapbook Gal” by Night

Posted By Kevin R. Johnson, Jul 22, 2016

One of my former Research Assistants, Rina Gonzales ‘02, is a Deputy City Attorney with the City of Riverside by day. By night, she is “Scrapbook Gal”! 

Rina pic

As seen on her LinkedIn page, Rina “owns a craft business, ‘Mothership Scrapbook Gal,’ which hosts craft events throughout the Inland Empire and also provides custom crafting services for events (birthday parties, weddings, corporate celebrations) and can create just about anything using her crafty talents!”

Card Kit

Rina was an active participant in the King Hall community as a law student.  Among many other activities, she was co-chair of La Raza Law Students Association.

You can learn more about her craft business at