Last night, the UC Davis School of Law held a warm reception for alumni and admitted students at the luxurious Century City offices of the law firm of Greenberg Glusker. Megan Rivetti ’09 hosted the event and allowed me the opportunity to talk about the 2015 commencement (highlighted by the keynote of California Supreme Court Justice Mariano Florentino “Tino” Cuéllar), the stellar 86% bar passage rate of the Class of 2014, and the employment success of the class, the new UC Undocumented Students Legal Services Center, and much more. It was wonderful to see and hear our alumni talk about the wonders of the King Hall community to admitted students.
The visit was a good reminder that many of the UC Davis School of Law alums end up working in the greater Los Angeles area. It also was a festive evening of law school alums and possible future members of the King Hall community.
It's busy around the School of Law today. It's Commencement Day for the Class of 2015!
The day began with the Environment Law Ceremony, where certificates are given to graduating students to recognize their specialization in environmental law. The event was well-attended, with students, their families, and faculty present. Professor Richard Frank did a great job in his remarks.
Professor Frank at the Environmental Law Ceremony
Meanwhile, preparations are underway for today's commencement ceremony at the Mondavi Center, featuring commencement speaker Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar of the California Supreme Court.
The commencement programs arrived earlier this week. I am looking forward to a great ceremony.
Congratulations to the School of Law Class of 2015!
I had the pleasure of attending the University of California's National Summit on Undocumented Students in Oakland.
UC President Janet Napolitano welcomed students, faculty, and administrators from all the UC campuses as well as activists, attorneys, and political leaders. The unprecedented UC event was organized by the UC President's Advisory Council on Undocumented Students, of which I am a member. The conference participants discussed immigration legal services and support, civic engagement and community involvement, financial aid and support services, and career and professional development.
UC Davis School of Law was well-represented at the conference, with Professor Leticia Saucedo, director of the Immigration Law Clinic, and Maria Blanco, director of the UC Undocumented Students Legal Center, also in attendance.
The students added incredibly energy and urgency to a pressing national public policy issue. It really was a fruitful set of discussions.
I just received this wonderful message and photo from King Hall alum (and my former civil procedure student) Frank Orozco, Jr. '97.
Frank (on the right) on his recent wedding day.
Frank wrote to me and a number of his King Hall classmates: "I just wanted to send a quick note to let you know that my partner, Chris, and I were married this past weekend in Catalina. I know that it has been years since we have all seen each other, but I wanted you to know the tremendous influence that meeting you at King Hall has been on my life."
Congratulations, Frank and Chris. Thanks for letting me share this great news on the Dean's Blog!
I was able to see our commencement speaker, Justice Mariano-Florentino "Tino" Cuellar, at an elegant reception at the California Museum in Sacramento hosted by La Raza Lawyers this week.
One of the newest Justices on the California Supreme Court was greeted with open arms by the local legal community. Participants in the program included our own Professor Cruz Reynoso, a former California Supreme Court Justice himself.
King Hall was well represented at the event, with Professors Anupam Chander, Madhavi Sunder, Rose Villazor, and Clay Tanaka in attendance. Justice Cuellar was gracious as always, and we talked briefly about the School of Law's upcoming commencement. He has some really great ideas for an amazing speech. I am looking forward to hearing his commencement address!
After a year of work by the committee revising the 1990 Principles of Community, a committee on which I served, the UC Davis campus held a public ceremony today to commemorate the signing of the new and improved Principles of Community. As the Dean of the School of Law, I had the honor of signing the Principles. Associate Executive Vice Chancellor Rahim Reed presided over the ceremony.
Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi was the first to sign the new version of the revised Principles. Provost Ralph J. Hexter was next.
All of the deans and vice chancellors signed.
UC Davis was one of the very first universities to have a set of principles of this type. I am proud to have worked on the revised Principles of Community and proud to be part of a campus that is committed to inspiring the best in us all.
This week, Law School's California International Law Center (CILC) made this announcement. Congratulations to the fellowship recipients!
Dear King Hall Community,
The California International Law Center is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2015 UC Human Rights Fellowship and John Paul Stevens Public Interest Fellowship.
John Paul Stevens Public Interest Fellowships Recipients:
Two grants of $5,000 each to support work in public interest law have been awarded to:
~ Laura Flynn '16
Natural Resources Defense Council
Laura Flynn will be spending the summer with the Natural Resources Defense Council’s San Francisco Office (NRDC). NRDC is a leading public-interest litigation firm, which marshals science and law to protect the environment and public health. Working closely with NRDC staff, she will assist with campaigns related to air & energy, oceans, land & forests, and water. She will conduct legal research, draft memos & briefs, and attend hearings. Ms. Flynn’s work will directly further NRDC’s mission to safeguard the earth—its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems.
~ Hope Kwiatkowski '17
Accountability Counsel (AC) works to promote corporate and institutional accountability for human rights abuses abroad by assisting communities in filing complaints, ensuring grievance mechanisms are accessible and transparent, and supporting policy reform. AC has achieved incredible success in eradicating human rights abuse in communities around the world and establishing more effective policies for international development. As a Law Fellow, Ms. Kwiatkowski will work on issues concerning potential sources of corporate accountability, draft legal memos regarding current cases, and support the work AC does abroad through complaint drafting and research. Ms. Kwiatkowski’s work with AC will help to disperse the large caseload and, in doing so, provide the opportunity for AC to reach more communities in need.
UC Human Rights Fellowships Recipients:
Two grants of $4,500 each to support work in human rights have been awarded to:
~ Chelsea Bond '17
East Bay Community Law Center - Education Defense & Justice for Youth
Chelsea Bond will be working at the East Bay Community Law Center in the Education Defense and Justice for Youth Clinic. The clinic’s goal is to end the school-to-prison pipeline by providing holistic juvenile defense and educational advocacy that allow clients to stay in school and out of detention. Ms. Bond will advocate for clients as they navigate through the juvenile justice system, assisting in delinquency hearings and probation compliance. She will also work to address unmet educational needs that present barriers between the client and the opportunity to succeed in school and beyond.
~ Sonja Prins '16
Office of the State Public Defender (Oakland, CA)
Sonja Prins will be working as a legal intern at the Office of the State Public Defender (OSPD), in Oakland, CA. The OSPD represents more than 130 men and women on death row in California and Ms. Prins will participate in all stages of post-conviction death penalty defense in California State Court. Ms. Prins will work on complex legal research and writing assignments, including drafting memos and legal pleadings to be used in direct appeals to the California Supreme Court. Her work will advance the office’s goal of providing high quality legal representation to indigent death row defendants.
The 2015 fellows will be recognized at the upcoming Public Service Graduation on Friday, April 24, 2015. The Center would like to thank the Fellowship Selection Committee--Law Professor Karima Bennoune, Professor and Director of Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas Almerindo Ojeda, Career Services Associate Director Timothy Griffiths--and all applicants.
Please join us in congratulating the 2015 fellowship recipients!
Uyen P. Le
California International Law Center (CILC)
UC Davis School of Law
As the academic year draws to a close, I want to congratulate the Class of 2015 on its upcoming commencement and thank you all for your many contributions to another remarkable year at UC Davis School of Law.
Rise in the Rankings
UC Davis School of Law moved up five slots in the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings, placing 31 overall. King Hall ranked in the top 25 in the reputational assessments of law professors, attorneys, and judges. We also placed 23 in the U.S. News rankings of Most Diverse Law Schools, one of the few schools in the top 40 for both overall quality and diversity. In the U.S. News financial aid rankings, we ranked number 1 of all public law schools in the country in the median grant to students. Although careful not to place undue emphasis on rankings, we should take pride in the growing recognition of our excellence.
Student Success: Bar Passage, Job Placement, and More
Members of the J.D. Class of 2014 achieved an outstanding 86 percent pass rate on the California Bar exam. Moreover, as of March 15, more than 80 percent of the Class of 2014 had secured full-time legal employment, nearly a 10 percent gain over last year. The success of our graduates was a team effort, the culmination of much hard work by our students, faculty, staff (especially the Career Services and Academic Success offices), and alumni, as well as investments by the UC Davis campus and the School of Law.
Students made us proud once again in 2014-15. A few highlights: Anita Bamshad and Niall Roberts won the 2015 Irving L. Neumiller Competition with outstanding performances before Judges Alex Kozinski and Kim McLane Wardlaw of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Justice Leondra Kruger of the Supreme Court of California; Naveen Dixit and John Hollis accepted clerkships with Justice Kristina Pickering of the Nevada Supreme Court and Justice Craig Stowers of the Alaska Supreme Court, respectively; Brad Masters won the California Supreme Court Historical Society 2014 Student Writing Competition; Victoria Wong won the California State Bar Real Property Law Section Student Writing Competition; the Bar Association of San Francisco honored John Paul Wallis and Matthew McGuffin for their work on a task force for improving the military justice system; students from the Humanitarian Aid Legal Organization (HALO) spent spring break in San Antonio, Texas providing legal aid to immigrant families detained at the Karnes County Residential Center; and Daniel Arkof, working under the direction of Professor Carter White, argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on behalf of a Civil Rights Clinic client.
The King Hall faculty once again demonstrated why they rank among the very best. A few highlights:
Due to the hard work of our Faculty Appointments Committee, the Law School recruited two outstanding new professors: William S. Dodge, most recently the Honorable Roger J. Traynor Professor of Law at UC Hastings, and Jasmine Harris, an entry level professor and graduate of Yale Law School.
King Hall alumni continue to do amazing things. A few examples: Chief Justice of California Tani Cantil-Sakauye continued her outstanding leadership of California’s judiciary; Jamie Gallagher and Luis Alejo (re-elected) won seats in the California State Assembly; Vicky L. Barker and Lowell Chow were selected by California Lawyer magazine for “California Lawyer of the Year” (CLAY) awards; and Charles Bird was named 2015 President for the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. American Lawyer named Marc Levinson one of its “Dealmakers of the Year” for leading the legal team that represented the City of Stockton in its bankruptcy case.
New Social Justice Programs
In 2014-15, the Immigration Law Clinic, in partnership with the UC Davis Division of Student Affairs, provides legal assistance to undocumented students in the AB 540 and Undocumented Student Center. In addition, 2015 saw the debut of the University of California Undocumented Student Legal Services Center, a UC Office of the President program housed at King Hall. The first of its kind at any law school in the country, the Center serves students at the six UC campuses without law schools.
Congratulations on a terrific year!
Kevin R. Johnson
I just received some photos from the Centro Legal de la Raza 46th Anniversary Gala, where I was honored to received the Outstanding Achievement in the Law Award last weekend in Oakland. King Hall was well-represented at the event!
Raymundo Jaquez '14 of Centro Legal, Professor Emeritus Cruz Reynoso, and Juan Vera of Centro Legal
Bill Tamayo '78, me, and Sergio Garcia
Acceptance speech after receiving the Outstanding Achievement in the Law Award
Senator Barbara Boxer appeared via video to receive the Lifetime Achievement award.
Centro Legal de La Raza provides free or low-cost, bilingual, culturally sensitive legal aid for low-income residents of the Bay Area. To learn more, visit http://centrolegal.org.
On Friday, I blogged about the action-packed weekend in store for the King Hall community. Here are a few shots from some of those events:
Admitted students, alumni, and special guest Judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit gathered at the Sacramento office of Stoel Rives for a reception.
Meanwhile, I attended the Centro Legal de la Raza Gala in Oakland, where I received the Outstanding Achievement in the Law Award. I was honored to receive this beautiful plaque, which now occupies a special spot in my office.
Professor Brian Soucek taught a mock class on Anti-Discrimination Law as part of Admitted Students Day on Saturday. It was great to see so many prospective (and committed!) members of the Class of 2018 -- King Hall's 50th entering class!
On Sunday, the students of the Entertainment & Sports Law Society hosted the annual Dr. Ives Basketball Tournament. Pictured here is the winning team.
Niall Roberts ’16 and Anita Bamshad ’16 won the 2015 Irving L. Neumiller Competition on Saturday. The team turned in an outstanding performance before a distinguished panel of judges.
Rear (L-R): Me, Judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Justice Leondra Kruger of the Supreme Court of California, and Kurtis C. Keller '12, an associate at the Neumiller & Beardslee law firm in Stockton. (The moot court competition is named for Irving L. Neumiller, one of the firm's original partners.) Front (L-R): Niall Roberts ’16, Anita Bamshad ’16, Abigail Mulvihill '16, and Aaron Israel '16. (Not pictured: Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw, also of the Ninth Circuit, who had to leave to catch her flight.)
It was a busy and fun King Hall weekend!
The 2014-15 academic year is rapidly coming to a close. Recent weeks have seen a number of wonderful end-of-the-year events. High points to the year include:
Commencement for the Class of 2015 will take place on May 15, 2015. California Supreme Court Justice Mariano Florentino "Tino" Cuellar will be speaking at the graduation.
Congratulations to the Class of 2015 and to the entire UC Davis School of Law community for a successful 2014-15 academic year!
It’s a busy King Hall Friday, Saturday, and Sunday!
Tonight, alumni and admitted students are gathering at the Sacramento office of law firm Stoel Rives for a reception as part of Admitted Students Weekend. Stoel Rives is located in the Bank of the West building (below, center), just steps from the State Capitol.
Also tonight, the Asian Pacific Law Students Association (APALSA) holds its 4th annual banquet. APALSA has a lot to celebrate, given its recent success in helping Hong Yen Chang obtain posthumous bar admission.
I wish I could attend these events tonight! But I am on my way to Oakland, where I am receiving the “Outstanding Achievement in Law” award from Centro Legal de la Raza.
Centro Legal de la Raza is a comprehensive legal services agency that serves immigrant, low-income and Latino communities. I am honored to receive this award.
Then, tomorrow, we welcome admitted students to King Hall for a day of panels, presentations, and a great lunch. I hope they will decide to join our Class of 2018 – King Hall’s 50th class!!
Also tomorrow is the annual Neumiller Moot Court Competition, with an amazing group of distinguished judges: Judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw, also of the Ninth Circuit, and Justice Leondra Kruger of the Supreme Court of California.
Best of luck to the law students testing their oral advocacy skills before this impressive panel!
On Saturday night, a King Hall tradition continues. The student-organized Aokirama, named for the late Professor Keith Aoki, brings together students (and faculty cameos!) for a night of skits, talent, and musical performances.
Finally, Sunday brings the 37th annual Dr. Ives Basketball Tournament.
It’s a great weekend to be a member (and prospective member) of the King Hall community!
I am blogging live today from an immigration conference at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) in Mexico City. UNAM is a historic place.
A sign heralding one of UNAM's historic milestones
Here is our UC Davis delegation!
L-R: Cruz Reynoso, Beth Greenwood, Leticia Saucedo, and me
After a welcome from the three cosponsoring law school (UNAM, Monterrey Tech, UC Davis) deans, the first panel (Overview, History and Culture of Immigration) offered an excellent foundation for the day. Professor Nicolas Foucras (Monterrey Tech) talked about migration as a reflection of global economic pressures. I offered an overview of contemporary U.S. immigration law. Professor Gabriela de la Paz (Monterrey Tech) discussed the implementation of U.S. immigration policies in the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations based on her interviews with U.S. immigration enforcement officers in the border region, including McAllen and Laredo, Texas).
Professors Reynoso and Saucedo on Panel 2
The second panel (Undocumented Immigrants in the U.S.: Impact, Challenges and Enforcement) began with Professor Leticia Saucedo talked about the history of U.S. immigration law resulting in the emergence in the modern undocumented immigrant population in the United States. She also documented the record-setting removals of immigrants from the United States during the Obama administration. Offering a personal as well as historical account, Professor Cruz Reynoso provided thoughts on the challenges facing undocumented immigrants in the United States and offered his opinions on the various immigration policies of the Obama administration (including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program). Professor Gregory Hicks ended the panel with a discussion of the common environmental dangers faced by immigrants in agricultural work far from the border, with a focus on California.
Panel 3 (Impact of the Immigration Laws on the Individual) began with Professor Mariana Gabarrot (Monterrey Tech) looked at transnational space and family and considered exclusion in education and health opportunities for, as well as the prevalence of poverty among, migrants in the United States. Professor Gerry Andrianopoulus (Monterrey Tech) discussed national security considerations in the U.S. immigration debate and reviewed public opinion polls showing less concern today than a few years ago with border security; he also analyzed the politics that led to the border fence (or border wall if you are against it).. Dean Maria Leoba Castaneda Rivas (UNAM) discussed humanitarian legal assistance for immigrants. Professor Leticia Saucedo (UC Davis) looked at the impacts of U.S. immigration laws on the employment of Mexican citizens.
The discussions have been rich and everyone did well as English talks were translated into Spanish for the native Spanish speakers and Spanish talks were translated into English for the native English speakers. The question and answer sessions after each panel were particularly illuminating, with a rich exchange of ideas from a variety of national and disciplinary perspectives.
Much thanks to Dean Maria Loeba Castaneda Rivas, Dean of UNAM, for her gracious hospitality and ensuring that all participants were treated like royalty.
UNAM Dean Maria Loeba Castaneda Rivas and I signed an MOU to provide for collaborations between our schools.
Thanks also to Dean Gabriel Cavazos, Monterrey Tech, for cosponsoring the event and ensuring that it was successful. Beth Greenwood, Executive Director of International Programs (UC Davis School of Law), and Concha Romero, both were instrumental in making the event a successful international collaboration on one of the most pressing public policy issues of our time.
For more live blog entries from the conference in Mexico City, visit Immigration Prof Blog.
UC Davis School of Law, the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and the Monterrey Institute of Technology are co-sponsoring an international conference on immigration at UNAM in Mexico City on March 26.
I am joining immigration experts Professors Leticia Saucedo and Cruz Reynoso from UC Davis to participate in a conference with colleagues from Mexico's top universities to explore the history of immigration policy and law, the present context of immigration in labor and the environment, and the human impact of immigration on families, their daily lives, and their human rights. The program will also examine the future of immigration law and policy as it impacts both the United States and Mexico.
Here is the schedule for the conference. The Deans of the sponsor law schools (Dra. Maria Castaneda Rivas (UNAM), Kevin Johnson (UC Davis), and Gabriel Cavazos (Monterrey Tech)) will welcome the participants.
Panel 1 is entitled "Overview, History, and Culture of Immigration." Panelists included Professors Nicolás Foucras (Monterrey Tech) and Gabriela de la Paz (Monterrey Tech). I am also on the panel and my presentation will focus on the history of immigration law and enforcement in the United States.
Panel 2 ("Undocumented Immigrants in the US: Impact, Challenges and Enforcement") includes Professors Leticia Saucedo (UC Davis), Cruz Reynoso (UC Davis), and Gregory Hicks (University of Washington).
Panel 3 ("Impact on Individuals") includes Professors Mariana Gabarrot (Monterrey Tech), Dean María Leoba Castaneda Rivas (UNAM), and Leticia Saucedo (UC Davis).
Panel 4 ("Long Term Immigration Policy") includes Gerry Andrianopoulos (Monterrey Tech) and Victor Hugo Perez Hernandez (UNAM). I will discuss possible reforms to U.S. immigration law and policy.
The conference follows an "Immigration Dialogue" for law deans from the Pacific Rim hosted by UC Davis School of Law in October 2014. The conference provided an opportunity for legal experts to explore challenging issues related to immigration as it impacts both countries.
Beth Greenwood, Executive Director International Programs and the LL.M. program (UC Davis), and Concha Romero were instrumental in organizing the conference.
Today, the California Supreme Court today issued its opinion in In Re Hong Yen Chang. The first line says it all: "We grant Hong Yen Chang posthumous admission as an attorney and counselor at law in all courts of the state of California." (emphasis added).
More than a century ago, Chang was denied the opportunity to practice law in California because of his race. Professor Jack Chin, a leading civil rights law professor, has been working on the case with the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association students and the law firm of Munger Tolles & Olson LLP.
Congratulations to all involved in this important effort to right a historic wrong. Congratulations, too, to the family of Hong Yen Chang, many of whom are lawyers right here in California.
Cross-posted at Immigration Prof Blog, where I am an editor.
This past weekend, the Moot Court Honors Board at UC Davis Asylum & Refugee Law National Moot Court Competition. It is the only competition in the nation devoted exclusively to the topic of asylum and refugee law and the the only immigration law moot court competition on the West Coast.hosted the 8th annual
Like other moot court competitions, this one provides law students from across the country the opportunity to participate in a hypothetical appeal to the. Competitors briefed the case. The questions presented were
1. Whether former membership with a gang constitutes "membership in a particular social group" for purposes of asylum; and
(2) whether participation in vehicle burning and rock throwing as part of a protest of governmental policy constituted commission of a serious nonpolitical crime under 8 U.S.C. § 1158(b)(2)(A)(III), making the asylum applicant ineligible for relief.
Dawei Chi '15 developed the problem. The Moot Court Honors expressed appreciation to Professor Brian Soucek for his assistance.
Both of the questions arise frequently in contemporary asylum cases.
On Saturday, teams from around the country, including Michigan, UC Hastings, USF, Pepperdine, and several other law schools, competed in the preliminary rounds. The preliminaries narrowed the field to two teams.
The finals were on Sunday. The all-New York final round saw teams from NYU (Alicia Berenyi and Kartik Naram) and Columbia (Arielle Klepach and Rebecca Urquiola) law schools facing off.
The students recruited a great group of judges for the competition, The judges in the finals had a wealth of immigration and asylum law experience: Mike Canzoneri (California Attorney General office), Professor Evangeline Abriel (Santa Clara law school), David Harshaw (Assistant Federal Public Defender), and Audrey Hemesath (Assistant U.S. Attorney). I also was asked to help judge the finals and enjoyed it immensely. Both teams in the finals were incredibly well-prepared, poised and polished, and presented great arguments. It was a tough decision but the Columbia team prevailed. Congratulations to all of the participants.
Last spring, UC Davis law students sought the posthumous admission of Hong Yen Chang to the California State Bar.
More than a century ago, Chang was denied the opportunity to practice law in California because of his race. See: Law students seek to right historic wrong with posthumous California Bar admission of Chinese lawyer.
Students in the UC Davis School of Law Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA) asked the California Supreme Court to admit Hong Yen Chang to the bar. Professor Jack Chin, a leading civil rights law professor, has been working on the case with the APALSA students and the law firm of Munger Tolles & Olson LLP.
The California Supreme Court announced today that it would file an opinion in the case next Monday. Stay tuned!
Last Friday evening, the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria in Sacramento was the site of the 33rd Annual Lorenzo Patiño Banquet. It was a festive evening, with good Mexican food and mariachis serenading the dinner tables. Dean of USF Law School and former President and General Counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), John Trasviña, gave an inspiring keynote speech about the obligation of the soon-to-be lawyers in attendance to work for the community.
The graduating La Raza Law Students Association students were honored and it was wonderful to see them be recognized. The Lorenzo Patiño award winner was Laura Flores, last year's co-chair of LRLSA who has worked for the immigrant community through her work with the Immigration Law Clinic, CRLA Foundation, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights for the San Francisco Bay Area, Employment Law Center, and other groups. A native of Texas (and huge San Antonio Spurs fan), she is a student leader and committed community member who makes me proud to be at UC Davis School of Law. The evening ended with the students presenting Hon. Cruz Reynoso with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his mentoring and support of law students.
Timothy Griffiths, our Associate Director for Public Interest & Public Sector Careers, was an excellent emcee. Professors Amagda Pérez and Cruz Reynoso participated in the recognition of the students. Professors Rex Perschbacher, John Hunt, and Larry Green were in attendance.
Stephanie Padilla was the chair of the Patiño dinner committee and did an outstanding job. And LRLSA co-chairs Bianca Duenas and David Canales deserve kudos for their leadership this year!
Last night, the School of Law held an admitted student/alumni reception at the San Francisco office of law firm Shepard Mullin. Look at that view!
View from the 17th floor of Four Embarcadero Center
We had a great group of admitted students from many excellent schools, including Harvard, UC Berkeley, Stanford, UC Davis, Iowa, Carnegie Mellon, McGill, Smith, and more. Steve Sacks '80 graciously hosted the event and introduced me to make a few remarks about the Law School's many success and incredible combination of academic excellence, diversity, and community. Faculty were in abundance, with Professors Rose Cuison Villazor, Afra Afsharipour, Brian Soucek, Chris Elmendorf, and soon-to-be King Hall Professor Bill S. Dodge (currently at UC Hastings), all of whom answered the questions from the soon-to-be law students. Assistant Dean for Career Services Craig Compton was there to answer questions about career possibilities, which have been improving dramatically in recent years. Assistant Dean for Admission and Financial Aid Kristin Mercado and Associate Director of Admissions Scott Vignos answered questions about admissions, tours of the law school, and financial aid. Last but not least, we had a super group of enthusiastic alums, including last year's Law Student Association President Kathryn Bilder '14, Gene Woo '85 (Alumni Board member), Matt Struhar '13, Morgan Forsey '05 (a new partner at Sheppard Mullin), Kelly Van Aken '10, Roey Rahmil '10, Gabe Zeldin '10, Errol Dauis '11, Jonathan Braunstein '03, Toni Qiu '14, and many more. It truly was a warm (69 degrees in San Francisco yesterday afternoon) and wonderful -- and, hopefully, informative for the admitted students -- event in the city by the bay.
Alejo was co-chair of LRLSA as a student at King Hall and served as a member of the Law School Admissions Committee. He talked about his career at community college, Cal, and UC Davis School of Law and how his education taught him the importance of coalition building in the political process, a skill that he finds invaluable in the Legislature. Alejo also thanked his former law professors, including Amagda Perez and Cruz Reynoso, who attended his talk.
It was great seeing one of my former students inspiring the next generation of lawyers!
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.
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.
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!
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: http://www.spsp.org/?page=Precon_Law.
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.
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.
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.
We had a great reunion of UC Davis School of Law alums at the Fresno office of Liebert Cassidy Whitmore on Thursday. Erik Cuadros '12, an associate at the firm, hosted the event. We had a great group of alums covering several decades of King Hall faithful. Alums in attendance included Judge Dale Ikeda '76, Amanda Cary '07, Jerry Casheros '99, Bob Wilkinson '81, Dean Gordon '74, and Jim Phillips '72. A special guest appearance was made by new Fresno City Council member Esmeralda Soria '11. We also had a Class of 2015 student, Gagan Kaur, meeting alums and getting advice on landing a law job in her hometown. It was a warm and beautiful evening with alums in the Central Valley!
La Raza Lawyers of San Diego and UC Davis School of Law co-sponsored a great lunch gathering in San Diego today. Rodrigo Guevara '09 is president of the bar group and helped organize the event. Close to 100 people attended, including many from the Imperial County, where a young Cruz Reynoso practiced law. Among the alums in attendance were Charlie Bird '73, current alumni board member Justice Joan Irion '79, and former board member Michael Van Horne '75, Michael Duckor '70, Jose Castillo '06, Charlie Arguello '91, and Marvin Mizell '96.
Professor Cruz Reynoso gave an inspirational talk about the duties of lawyers to pursue social justice for all.
It was a wonderful lunch on a beautiful San Diego day!