I just had a visit from Sammar Miqbel, an alum of the King Hall Outreach Program (KHOP) and a 2007 alum of UC Davis School of Law. It was great catching up with Sammar, who as a King Hall student was very active and served on the Admissions Committee and as a KHOP mentor. After doing civil rights work in Southern California, she now is doing civil rights and criminal defense work for the Law Offices of Johnny L. Griffin, III, a prominent Sacramento attorney (Perhaps you've seen him on TV).
A native of Lodi, Samaar was also able to visit with Professor Emeritus Cruz Reynoso and Assistant Dean of Admissions Kristin Mercado.
Sammar credits KHOP and King Hall for leading her to the practice of law. We are proud to call her an alumna.
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:
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.
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:
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!
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”!
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!”
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 http://mothershipscrapbookgal.com/.
Congrats to King Hall alum Stephen Abreu ’07!
Stephen, an Associate in King & Spalding’s Silicon Valley Corporate Practice Group, was recently named by the Silicon Valley Business Journal to its “40 under 40,” a list of 40 outstanding professionals under the age of 40.
Last year, he was selected as a member of the National Black Lawyers Top 100, an invitation-only professional honorary organization. He also has taught Intellectual Property as a Visiting Lecturer at King Hall.
I was able to meet the new UC Davis Director of Athletics, Kevin Blue (and Gold) this week.
Previously of Stanford, Kevin joined the UC Davis community in late June. I told him that UC Davis Athletics had many supporters at the School of Law and that our football tailgater and BBQ every October has been a crowd-pleaser for faculty, staff, students, and alumni.
Kevin expressed optimism about the future of Aggie sports and emphasized his deep commitment to the academic success of our student athletes. I told Kevin that we would love to have more Aggie athletes at King Hall!
Our exciting summer international programs have begun!
Today I was honored to welcome attorneys and judges from around the world to our 27th Orientation to U.S.A. Law program. It was an energetic group – and everyone was on time for the 9 A.M. class start. I was pleased to tell the students about UC Davis School of Law and how the building is named after civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Our commitment to social justice in no small part stems from the community’s devotion to Dr. King’s legacy.
Associate Dean for International Programs Beth Greenwood also welcomed the group. King Hall alum Shama Mesiwala '98 was the first instructor.
For 26 years, the Orientation in U.S.A. Law program has served lawyers, judges, prosecutors and defenders, notaries, law professors, pre-LL.M. students and business professionals who wish to gain a better understanding of the theories and practices of the U.S. legal system. Participants engage in more than 170 hours of classes, seminars and on-site observations.
Many participants begin with the Orientation in U.S.A. Law program and then continue with the specialized programs in The Global Trading System: Substance and Dispute Resolution (August 7-20, 2016), and Financing International Transactions (offered August 2017) and Structuring an International Joint Venture (offered in August 2018).
Law school preparation for pre-LL.M. students is included in the program. All participants attend core classes daily on such topics as:
It is great to feel the vibrant international reach of UC Davis School of Law through our many international programs. To learn more, visit the international section of our website.
It's summer, but there is always great community spirit at UC Davis School of Law!
On Saturday, the morning began with a faculty celebration of the upcoming addition to the family of Professor Andrea Chandrasekher and her husband Madhav. Professor Evelyn Lewis opened her home up for an elegant brunch. New law professor Aaron Tang and his wife Liz made their first appearance at a King Hall event.
Next, I stopped by for lunch with this year's class of the King Hall Outreach Program. We had an amazingly diverse array of undergraduate students from UC Berkeley, Sacramento State, Cal State Dominguez Hills, UC Davis, and other great schools. Dean of Admissions Kristen Mercado discussed the law school admissions process and where to find relevant information about the application process and law schools. I very much enjoyed talking with these incredible undergraduates, who will spend their weekends this summer at King Hall learning how to prevail in the rigorous law school application process. The students' enthusiasm, inquisitiveness, and ambition was most impressive. I hope that some of them come to UC Davis School of Law!
All in all, Saturday reminded me once again of the incredibly supportive community that we have at King Hall.
Two weeks ago, an equally divided Supreme Court left intact a lower court injunction barring the implementation of a major immigration initiative of the Obama administration in its ruling in the case of United States v. Texas.
Yesterday on the Seoul-based news program “This Morning” on eFM, I talked about the case, its impact on undocumented immigrants, how it reflects on the issue of immigration internationally, and how it may affect the U.S. Presidential race.
Specifically identifying courses taught by Professor Emeritus Ed Imwinkelried in Preparation of Evidence and in Courtroom Testimony, Forensic Outreach recently named UC Davis as the best American college for forensic science.
Drew Amoroso '10 is launching an exciting new venture: a firm specializing in fitness law.
Move Legal PC, based in San Francisco, will "provide foundational counsel to brands in the fitness, health and wellness, supplement, and paleo food industries."
Drew, a former Editor-in-Chief of the UC Davis Law Review, was featured in a Bloomberg BNA story about fitness law last summer. At the time, he was a Senior Associate at the San Francisco office of Reed Smith LLP.
To learn more about Move Legal PC, visit http://www.movelegalpc.com/.
Alum Monika Kalra Varma '00 recently received the 2016 Public Interest Achievement Award from the South Asian Bar Association. She was honored for her work on human rights and social justice issues as executive director of the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center. We posted a news item about her award on our website.
In her acceptance speech, Monika said she got her start in public interest law at King Hall. She shared her remarks with me. Here is an excerpt:
My career in public interest started in law school, when I took on an asylum case for a woman from Somalia. I'll call her Hawa. Hawa’s husband was abducted from their home in the middle of the night and then executed.
In the midst of her loss, Hawa started an informal support group in her neighborhood -- reaching out to other women, from different tribes, whose husbands had also been killed.
She simply wanted a place for her kids to feel safe and play together. So they got together every week to support each other, to find a way to heal, and to give their children moments of a "normal" childhood.
And one night, as my translator and I sat in our small immigration clinic office at UC Davis, Hawa told us about her own arrest. She was beaten and held with another friend from her support group. They were taken because surely, this group of mothers could only be meeting to plot against the government. She described the cell she lay in, barely alive from her own beatings where the guards brought her friend's body and left it there for 3 days to send a message to her and others who might think of betraying the government.
The night she found the courage to relive and share the darkest moment of her life with us, my heart shattered, and then I fought with every hour I could find -- until I helped her gain asylum.
So follow the things that break your heart.
Congratulations on your well-deserved award, Monika! The School of Law is proud of you and your important work.
On Wednesday, June 15, attorneys from the UC Undocumented Legal Services Center, housed at King Hall, took part in a Google Hangout titled, “A Conversation on College Access: Supporting our Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students.”
Last year, the White House Initiative on Education Excellence for Hispanics honored the Center as a “Bright Spot in Hispanic Education.” The Initiative organized this Hangout.
Executive Director María Blanco and staff participated. You can see them starting at the 13:57 mark!
Happy birthday from one 50-year-old institution to another!
Just as the School of Law is marking its 50th anniversary, California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) is also celebrating its Golden Anniversary! CRLA is hosting a series of 50th anniversary events across the state, including one tonight in San Diego.
We have a long tradition of alumni going to work at CRLA. Professor Emeritus Cruz Reynoso was its director. Its current Executive Director, Jose Padilla, sometimes refers to King Hall as CRLA's law school.
CRLA was founded in 1966 to provide legal help to people living in rural communities. Today, CRLA has 18 offices across California.
Happy anniversary, CRLA!
Today Professor Anupam Chander and I visited Dacheng Dentons in Beijing, the largest law firm in the world with 5000 lawyers in China! A longtime friend of UC Davis, Professor Jinxi Wang of China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL) introduced us to firm CEO Jun Wang, Vice CEO Jiangtao Ma and Senior Partner and Director of the IP group Weidong Wang. We heard of the firm's rapid rise from 40 lawyers just 20 years ago -- to 5000 today.
With Vice CEO Jiangtao Ma (left) at Dacheng Dentons
We spoke a few of some of the firm's 5000 attorneys.
Intellectual property accounts for ten percent of the firm's work today. CUPL graduates make up some 50 percent of the Dacheng Denton lawyers and a much greater percentage of the firm leadership. We toured the impressive offices and met with young attorneys who were very interested in UC Davis for our LLM and International Commercial Law program for foreign attorneys. They asked great questions about legal education and practice. We had an amazing day!
Wajahat Ali '07, former host of Al Jazeera America's "The Stream" and current creative director for Affinis Labs, sent me this message regarding his latest contribution to The Atlantic.
Wanted to share a new piece.
The Atlantic asked 6 writers to submit a response to Donald Trump regarding "What's Going on With Muslims?"
My essay is the third one down. Hope you enjoy it: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/06/trump-muslims-ban-orlando/486950/.
Associate Dean for International Programs Beth Greenwood, Professor Anupam Chander, Judge Johann Mori and I are in Beijing this week visiting the China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL), the world's largest law school and a long-time strong partner school to the UC Davis School of Law.
Last night we had a warm and celebratory dinner with our generous host, CUPL Professor of Law Jinxi Wang, and young faculty, one of whom — Chunpeng Du — was an LLM student of ours at UC Davis. We have met many UC Davis LLM alums and visiting scholars to King Hall here — indeed, there is a large and enthusiastic King Hall fan club in Beijing. Dean Greenwood and Judge Mori are co-teaching a class, and Professor Chander and I will be lecturing this evening on intellectual property and cyberlaw to IP and commercial law students and faculty at CUPL.
Flags on the UC Davis campus are at half-staff today in remembrance of the tragedy this past weekend in Orlando, Florida. All of us are saddened by the horrible loss of life.
Things are busy in the summer months here at UC Davis School of Law. This week, King Hall is hosting the Summer Tax Institute, with tax attorneys, including tax attorneys from the Internal Revenue Service and various state tax agencies, and law professors. Professor Dennis Ventry lectured over lunch about ethics and the tax laws (pictured here).
He and Professor Darien Shanske play an important leadership role in organizing the Summer Tax Institute. We are lucky to have two devoted tax professors at UC Davis. For them, this event is nothing less than heaven - tax, tax, and more tax all week!
On Wednesday night, Judge Emily Vasquez, president of the Schwartz/Levi chapter of the Inn of Court, presented the School of Law and founding faculty member Floyd Feeney with handsome plaques commemorating the School of Law's 50th anniversary.
It was wonderful bring honored by local judges, lawyers, students, and many alums. Many thanks to Judge Vasquez and the Inn of Court!
I had the pleasure of representing public law schools on the opening plenary panel of the annual ABA development conference for law deans in San Diego.
Sunny San Diego
A shot of Senior Associate Dean Madhavi Sunder in the audience for the opening plenary panel
Senior Director of Development Karen Charney was on another panel (above). We had a great King Hall presence, with the snazzily dressed Director of Development Nick Dolce and Senior Associate Dean Madhavi Sunder in attendance.
It was great talking about the special King Hall community and our great faculty and student body. It also was great seeing old friends like former Senior Associate Dean Vik Amar, now the Law Dean at the University of Illinois.
Our alum Dan Torres ‘02, Governor Jerry Brown's Director is Immigrant Integration invited me to the State Capitol today to comment on a report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on the integration of immigrants in the United States. You can read the study here. I was pleased to discuss the subject, which is a hot-button, cutting-edge civil rights issue. Governor Brown's Council Room, with a bronze California Brown Bear in front, was the setting of the panel discussion.
The bear stands guard in front of the Governor's office.
From my viewpoint. Dan Torres '02 makes opening comments.
Many state and local government officials were in attendance.
It is always nice to see how impactful our King Hall alums are. Thanks to Dan for the opportunity!
UC Davis School of Law held a wonderful alumni/admitted students reception in Southern California last week. The setting was the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) offices in Los Angeles.
Three King Hall faithful -- Duncan Crabtree-Ireland '98, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel; Delia Aparicio '06, one of my former research assistants; and Evan Sherman '09 -- along with SAG-AFTRA attorneys hosted an extraordinary event. We had a great group of alums from the greater Los Angeles area and admitted students from UCLA, UC Berkeley, UCSB, the Air Force Academy, and many more great schools.
I enjoyed seeing the movie-themed art throughout the SAG-AFTRA office.
One of my favorites!
An amazing collage of movie scenes
It was a warm and wonderful evening that reminded us all of just how special the King Hall community is.
(BTW, the day started off on a special note. California Governor Jerry Brown was on the flight with us from Sacramento to Los Angeles!)
Cross-posted from Immigration Prof Blog.
UC Davis School of Law was proud to have Congressman John Lewis, an iconic leader of the 1960s Civil Rights movement who has remained at the vanguard of progressive social movements throughout his long career, deliver the Commencement Address for the graduatingSchool of Law Class of 2016.
Congressman Lewis and me in front of King Hall
Lewis, who has served as U.S. Representative for Georgia's Fifth Congressional District since 1986, is considered one of the "Big Six" leaders of the Civil Rights movement. Born in 1940 to Alabama sharecropper parents, he was inspired byand the to join the fight against segregation. Since that time, he has dedicated his life and career to civil rights and social equality activism.
Shooting a portrait with Acting Chancellor Ralph J. Hexter before the ceremony
Congressman Lewis was generous with his time, having breakfast with African-American alumni, faculty, students, and friends of UC Davis School of Law. He gave an inspirational talk at the breakfast about the long struggle for civil rights in America and how he had made "good trouble" in seeking to move the nation in the right directions. He mentioned that he had been arrested for civil disobedience in protesting for the passage of comprehensive immigration reform, which he sees as a new and important civil rights issue.
I visited Sacramento yesterday to visit with UC Davis School of Law alums and attend the annual dinner of Operation Protect and Defend (OPD), which works to educate high school students about the U.S. Constitution.
A shot of the State Capitol building in Sacramento
While catching up over coffee with Amparo Cid '10, Program Officer for the Sierra Health Foundation, Juanita Martinez '06, General Motors’ Regional Manager in Public Policy for the Western Region, stopped by to say hello. It's always great to see successful alums! Amparo is helping to support social justice initiatives that would benefit communities of color in the northern Central Valley. She lives in Fresno and often sees City Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria '11 and Aida Macedo '11. Juanita is doing policy and legislative work for GM (and has a 22 month old baby!).
Last night’s Operation Protect and Defend dinner was like a UC Davis School of Law reunion. I saw Legislative Counsel Diane Boyer Vine '86, Steve Boutin ‘72, Judge Judy Hersher ‘84, Kara Ueda ‘00, and many others. Andrea Fazel ‘06, a King Hall alum who now teaches U.S. Government in high school, introduced me to two of her students, one whom is headed to UC Santa Barbara and the other to UC Davis this fall. I was also able to catch up with dear friends of King Hall, including retired federal judge Frank Damrell, Justice Ron Robie, Justice William Murray, federal judge Troy Nunley, and others. Keynote speaker Justice Goodwin Liu of the California Supreme Court, accompanied to the event by his parents (longtime residents of Sacramento), gave inspirational remarks on the importance of the constitutional rights of criminal defendants, which was the topic of the high school legal education project of Operation Protect and Defend this year.
It was a great day in California’s capital city!