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Celebrating a Great Year (2011-12)

Posted By Kevin R. Johnson, Apr 27, 2012

As the academic year draws to a close, I want to congratulate the entire King Hall community. Although we endured some tragic losses and unfortunate events, it was a year of remarkable achievements.

Our “New and Improved” King Hall

For over a decade, the King Hall community has worked to bring us all a state-of-the-art building. In the fall, we held the first classes in the upgraded classrooms on the second floor, and saw the opening of the renovated lower level, with space for student organizations, new reading rooms, and an upgraded student lounge (with microwaves and vending machines). Construction will now focus on the first floor, including an upgrade of the classrooms as well as a renovation of the Mabie Law Library and faculty offices. We will celebrate Thanksgiving 2012 with the completion of the entire renovation. Thank you all for your support and patience!

Faculty Excellence

Our faculty continues to draw national and international acclaim. Over the past year, our scholars have published dozens of books, and articles in the best law reviews in the country, including the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, California Law Review, Duke Law Journal, Georgetown Law Journal, UCLA Law Review, Iowa Law Review, and Minnesota Law Review, to name a few.

Consistent with the aspirations of a great public university, our faculty members translated their academic work for broader audiences and published op-ed pieces in outlets like the Los Angeles Times,, and (with which the law school this year entered into an agreement to provide regular content). Many of our faculty regularly blog for, and are cited on, high-profile blogs like the New York Times “Room for Debate,” SCOTUSblog, and many others. Not surprisingly, our faculty are regularly quoted and featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CNN, National Public Radio, and numerous other international, national, and local media outlets.

The law faculty members regularly appear at academic conferences at prestigious law schools from coast to coast. Our faculty also are in demand internationally. This year, Professor Madhavi Sunder delivered the Hochelaga Lectures, the University of Hong Kong School of Law’s most prestigious lecture series. Professor Edward Imwinkelried visited Beijing to lead the International Conference on Evidence Law and Science. Professor Peter Lee traveled to Chile as part of a new Law School partnership with the University of Chile School of Law.

Our faculty received many prestigious honors. Professor Cruz Reynoso received the Hispanic National Bar Association’s highest honor, the Lincoln-Juarez Award. Professor Evelyn A. Lewis received the William and Sally Rutter Distinguished Teaching Award. Professor Lisa Ikemoto was honored by the Conference of Asian Pacific American Law Faculty (CAPALF) with the Professor Chris Kando Iijima Teacher and Mentor Award. Courtney Joslin had two of her articles honored with national awards. The Corporate Practice Commentator selected one of Professor Afra Afsharipour’s articles as one of 2011’s top ten corporate and securities articles. Holly S. Cooper received the Carol Weiss King Award for Creative Litigation from the National Lawyers Guild Immigration Project. Amagda Pérez was honored with the North Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Dolores Huerta Award for Social Justice.

Next year, two new excellent faculty members will join the King Hall community. David Horton comes from Loyola-Los Angeles and will teach in the fields of Trust Wills and Alternative Dispute Resolution. An established international law scholar, Karima Bennoune comes from Rutgers-Newark. Professors Emma Jordan (Georgetown), former President of the Association of American Law Schools, and Rose Villazor (Hofstra) will teach as visiting professors next spring.

Our U.S. News & World Report Ranking: Consistent Excellence

Reaffirming our place among the nation’s top law schools, UC Davis School of Law placed 29 in the latest U.S. News rankings and remains the youngest school ever to rank in the top 25. This year marked the first time UC Davis made three straight appearances in the top 30. In the survey of law professors at other law schools, we ranked number 24.

Career Services

Career Services works harder than ever to increase employment opportunities for our students. We saw a 20% increase in firms participating in fall 2011 on-campus interviewing (OCI) and a 50% increase in employers participating in spring 2012 OCI. The international law firms of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Davis Polk & Wardwell; and White & Case will interview King Hall students next year – a first for many of these firms. The Career Services Office continues to conduct outreach to all types of employers to increase opportunities for our students.

Clinics Rock!

Under the leadership of Director of Clinical Education Leticia Saucedo, King Hall students gain invaluable, real-world experience as they make a real difference in our community and our world. This year, Immigration Law Clinic students won a series of impressive victories, including a victory in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Clinical faculty and students also were active in our community, participating in naturalization workshops for immigrants and developing a presentation on cyberbullying for high school students.

Research and Policy Center’s Successes

Under the direction of Richard Frank ‘74, the California Environmental Law and Policy Center hosted a conference on the California Environmental Quality Act that was one of the most well-attended events in Law School history. The Center for Science and Innovation Studies, led by Professor Mario Biagioli, hosted many lectures and symposia. Professor Anupam Chander directed the California International Law Center (CILC), which hosted many high profile lecturers, including Judge Joan E. Donoghue of the International Court of Justice and Diego García-Sayán, President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

Conferences and Lectures

2011-12 brought an impressive array of luminaries to King Hall. Highlights include the 2012 Fenwick & West Lecture Series in Technology, Entrepreneurship, Science, and Law (TESLaw) with a keynote speech by Jason Goldman, co-founder of Twitter. Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit delivered the Central Valley Foundation/James B. McClatchy Lecture on the First Amendment. Former Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Vaughn Walker, who wrote the district court opinion invalidating California’s Proposition 8, delivered the Bill Smith Memorial Lecture. Professor Angela Onwuachi-Willig (Iowa) delivered the Brigitte M. Bodenheimer Lecture on Family Law. Scott Boras, one of the nation’s top sports agents, spoke in an event sponsored by the Entertainment & Sports Law Society (ably co-chaired by Scott Judson ’12 and Colin Kilpatrick ’12). In March, about 200 people attended the Law Review Symposium on “The Daubert Hearing—From All the Critical Perspectives.”

The law school had many other prominent visitors in 2011-12, including former Massachusetts Governor and Democratic President Candidate Michael Dukakis. I accompanied Governor Dukakis to visit the California legislature before his public talk at the Mondavi Center.

Exciting New Initiatives – International and Domestic, New Courses

The Law School continues to grow its international opportunities for students and faculty. In November, we hosted a delegation from China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL) for a visit that included the signing by Chancellor Linda Katehi and CUPL President Jin Huang of an agreement to form a partnership between UC Davis School of Law and CUPL. In just the last few weeks, I met with the Dean of Jindal Global Law School in India to sign an agreement providing for international collaborations for faculty and students. I also met with Chilean Ambassador Felipe Bulnes and discussed our new partnerships with the University of Chile and the Diego Portales University.

In addition to expanding international partnerships, we are increasing our academic programs. The faculty approved a new Intellectual Property certificate program. We soon will unveil our new California Supreme Court Clinic, which will allow students to brief and argue cases before the California Supreme Court. By the way, the Court’s newest Justice, Goodwin Liu, is our commencement speaker and the Court will hold oral arguments next November in the Kalmanovitz Appellate Courtroom.

This year, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Hollis Kulwin instituted a new and expanded course advising program, including a Course Advising Fair, to assist students in selecting courses. Next year, we will offer many new courses, including Advanced Negotiations, Renewable Energy Seminar, California Criminal Procedure Seminar, Citizenship Seminar, Economic Justice, Mindfulness in Professional Values, Chinese Intellectual Property, and others. The Academic Support Program further expanded its “Passing the Bar” series.

Student Achievements

King Hall students truly outdid themselves in 2011-12!

The Neumiller Moot Court Competition, ably organized by the Moot Court Board headed by John Stoller ’12, saw Kara DiBiasio ‘13 and Lauren Herrera ‘13 emerge as winners. The King Hall Negotiations Team hosted the annual Intra-School Negotiations Competition as well as the American Bar Association's Client Counseling Regional Competition. Kyle Junginger ‘14 and Sean Newland ‘14 traveled to New Orleans for the ABA National Negotiation Competition. In the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition at Georgetown, Tyler Layton ‘12 and Jim Beck ‘12 won the right to represent King Hall in the international round of competition to be held this October in Italy.

Student organizations also had a banner year. Law School Association President Rabia Paracha served as an excellent student leader; the students elected the irrepressibly upbeat Nima Rahimi as President for 2012-13. The King Hall Legal Foundation’s golf tournament and public interest auction were among the highlights of this school year. HALO (Humanities Aid Legal Organization) students traveled to help the needy in Arizona and Utah. King Hall students took a “Justice Bus” trip to provide legal assistance to the poor in mobile home parks in Napa Valley. The Asian Pacific American Law Students hosted its inaugural banquet with more than 120 in attendance. The Black Law Students Association, ably led by Embert Madison '13 and Fitz King '13 (who succeeded the excellent leadership of Alana Penn '12 and Edward J. Brown ’12), held an impressive Martin Luther King Jr. week. La Raza Law Students Association, co-chaired by Denise Méndez ’12, did the same for César Chavez week (as well as holding a great Lorenzo Patiño annual banquet in which U.S. Department of Agriculture General Counsel Ramona Romero delivered the keynote and Jenni Gomez ‘12 was honored with the Lorenzo Patiño Community Service Award). Roel Mangiliman ’12, Serena Salinas’12, Michael Wu ’12, and others active in the Coalition for Diversity served as our conscience by voicing concerns about the diversity of the student body.

Our students earned many state and national honors. Andrew Huah ‘14 was honored with a Fish & Richardson 1L Diversity Fellowship. Matthew Kane ‘12 was selected by FASPE (Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics) to participate in a program this summer in New York, Germany, and Poland. Amit Rana ‘13 was awarded a summer fellowship by the Peggy Browning Fund. Atticus Lee ‘13 is a Latham & Wilkins Diversity Scholar. Besides ably leading the Journal of International Law and Policy, Joanna Cuevas Ingram wrote an article on California voting rights law that will be published in the Harvard Latino Law Review. Monica Crooms ’13 and Hannah Labaree ’13 were honored with UC Human Rights Fellowships while Miles Prince ’14 and Nienke Schouten ’14 earned John Paul Stevens Fellowships for public interest work.

King Hall students also secured a number of judicial clerkships. To name a few, Matthew Kane will serve a two-year clerkship with the Superior and Supreme Courts of Guam. James Beck ‘12 will clerk for Judge Johnnie B. Rawlinson, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Katharine Buddingh ‘12 will clerk for U.S. District Judge David Ezra in the District of Hawaii. John Waste ‘12 will clerk for Chief Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein of the Eastern District of California.

Dedicated and Influential Alumni

King Hall alumni were a presence at King Hall in 2011-12. Besides providing much-needed financial support, more than 850 alumni volunteered to help moot court and mock trial programs, met with prospective students, spoke to King Hall classes, and much more.

It would be impossible to list here all of the outstanding accomplishments achieved by King Hall alumni during the past year, but let me mention a few. Darrell Steinberg ‘84, President Pro Tem of the California State Senate, and Chief Justice of California Tani Cantil-Sakauye ‘84 continued to provide superb leadership to the state of California. Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney David Walgren ‘95 successfully prosecuted a doctor charged in connection with the death of entertainer Michael Jackson. Marlon Cobar ‘00, with the U.S. Department of Justice, successfully prosecuted one of the world’s largest heroin dealers. Robert A. Barton ‘88 was appointed California Inspector General. Professor Francine J. Lipman ’93 (University of Nevada, Las Vegas) was elected to the American Law Institute.

Fundraising Success

As always, the greater King Hall community rallied this year in support of the Law School, with a focus on student scholarships, in another outstanding fundraising year. This year, more than $288,000 was raised to support new scholarships. The Richard Archibald Memorial Fund, started by members of the Class of 1980 to honor a classmate, reached its $100,000 goal and will provide additional funds for our Loan Repayment Assistance Program. The Class of 2012 is nearing record levels in its class gift. Last but not least, we soon will announce a $2.5 million planned gift to support our clinical and skills programs.

Staff Hires

As always, our extraordinary staff have made it possible for the Law School to operate efficiently and effectively. This year, we hired two staff, Christian Rockwood in External Relations as Associate Director for Annual and Special Funds, and Kathleen Harbaugh as Executive Assistant to the Dean.


Have a great summer! Congratulations to the Class of 2012. We look forward to seeing the classes of 2013 and 2014 – and the new class of 2015 – in August.

Kevin R. Johnson