King Hall, Chancellor Katehi Welcome Class of 2012
Faculty, staff, students, and alumni were joined by new UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi in welcoming the Class of 2012 at a barbecue hosted by the School of Law on August 16 at Putah Creek Lodge. In what has been a grand Law School tradition, the annual event offered the new class a chance to meet one another and the King Hall community in an informal setting on the eve of Introduction Week, five days of academic activities for first-year students before their regular courses commence.
This year's barbecue featured remarks from Chancellor Katehi, Dean Kevin R. Johnson, President-elect of the King Hall Alumni Association John Schick '72, and Law Student Association President Victoria Hassid '10. All four speakers warmly greeted the incoming students and promised great things for the Class of 2012.
Speaking in her first public appearance as UC Davis Chancellor, Katehi said she was pleased to meet the new law students, and as a newcomer to the university herself, shared their feelings of excitement at the beginning of the academic year.
Chancellor Katehi also stated unequivocally her support for the School of Law: "A great university cannot exist without having great professional schools. That's why my support for the School of Law will be unconditional."
Dean Johnson spoke of the Law School's trajectory of academic excellence since its founding 40 years ago, expressed excitement about the King Hall Expansion and Renovation Project, and lauded the students for having made an excellent choice in coming to King Hall. "There is no better place, and I say this without qualification, to study law," he said.
Schick encouraged the new students to give their all to their legal studies. "Invest your time, invest yourself, and you will enjoy every benefit of an outstanding legal education,"
Offering the student perspective, Hassid was equally encouraging. "King Hall wants you to succeed," she said. "We have more resources than anybody. We are truly blessed with a special King Hall community, from the deans and faculty to the alumni, staff, and students."
Members of the Class of 2012 (left to right): James Beck, Jessica Hawk, Jason Liu, Edward J. Brown, Joanna Cuevas Ingram
The students in the Class of 2012 are an extremely accomplished and diverse group. They boast a median undergraduate GPA of 3.52 and a median Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score of 163 (in the 90th percentile of all LSAT takers). Almost exactly 50 percent are women, and 31 percent are people of color. Fifty-eight percent are University of California graduates. They range in age from 20-52. Eighty-seven percent are California residents; 23 percent earned their undergraduate degree outside the state, and the class includes students from the United Kingdom, Romania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Israel. Roughly equal numbers (around 10 percent each) indicated a particular interest in public interest law, international law, intellectual property law, public law and policy, and environmental law.
A substantial number of incoming students have experience in the legal profession, often as a legal assistant, paralegal, or law firm intern. But their employment histories include everything from construction work to experience as a river rafting guide to teaching English in China. Many are parents, athletes, musicians, and dancers. Volunteer service is a common theme.
A few highlights from the narrative profiles the students submitted to the Law School include (pictured above):
- James Beck: A graduate of Amherst College, he earned his degree in Political Science in 2004 and has worked as a paralegal for four years in Philadelphia and Minneapolis. He also served as a volunteer high school debate team coach and performed as vocalist and bassist for the band American Blood and Treasure.
- Edward J. Brown: A former member of the UC Davis football team, he was twice selected for the Athletic-Academic Honor Roll. He participated in a program in which UC Davis athletes read to local elementary school students, and worked as a supervisor for the Department of Campus Sports and Recreation. He has also been a referee for the Law School's Dr. Ives Basketball Tournament.
- Joanna Cuevas Ingram: An Occidental College graduate, she arrives at King Hall with more than a decade of experience as a community organizer with groups including The Education Trust-West, the Service Employees International Union, and the SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West. Her work experience includes serving as Latina Program Coordinator for Alameda County at the Women's Cancer Resource Center and as a member of the convening committee for the National Latino Cancer Summit.
- Jessica Hawk: A former intern with the Office of the Solicitor General in the U.S. Department of Justice, she has helped in the preparation of briefs for U.S. Supreme Court arguments. She also worked as a legal assistant for a business and real estate law firm and was a member of the dance team at UC Santa Barbara.
- Jason Liu: With experience as an emergency medical technician and a case manager for a mediation and arbitration firm, he is a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta/Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, the Golden Key National Honor Society, and Mortar Board Senior Honor Society. As an undergraduate, he was also a political cartoonist for the Daily Bruin.
UC Davis Dateline article on Chancellor Katehi's Visit to the 1L BBQ