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News Posted on April 25, 2011

Lawrence Brown '89: Supporting KHOP Students' Journeys

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Lawrence Brown '89 says that when he volunteers for the King Hall Outreach Program (KHOP), he's only being selfish.

"The King Hall Outreach Program greatly deserves the support and enthusiasm of those of us hailing from King Hall," he said.  "Selfishly, it's also my kind of endeavor: low effort and high impact."

Far from being selfish, Judge Brown's career choices and volunteer work have always exemplified the public-interest spirit of King Hall.  After earning his J.D., he worked as a Deputy District Attorney in Ventura County, then served as First Assistant United States Attorney from 2003 until his appointment as Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of California in January 2009.  The following year, he was appointed to the Sacramento Superior Court by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.  He also served as executive director of the California District Attorneys Association (CDAA) from 1996-2003, and despite a hectic schedule, he has been a frequent visitor at King Hall, where he has taught courses on the legislative process in addition to volunteering to help judge moot court competitions and work with KHOP students.

Volunteering for KHOP is especially satisfying, Brown said.  Founded in 2000, the program is designed to increase diversity in the legal profession by providing eligible college juniors and seniors with two years of mentoring and pre-law advising during the school year, plus four weeks of intensive academic preparation each summer.  The innovative program, still the only one of its kind at any University of California law school, focuses on helping first-generation college students and students from disadvantaged backgrounds prepare for law school by providing study techniques for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), training in writing, analytical skills, and reasoning, information about the various career paths available to law school graduates, and more.  Providing opportunities for interaction with working legal professionals is a key part of the program, and King Hall alumni from all areas of legal practice are invited to volunteer.

Judge Brown has volunteered for the KHOP program in a number of capacities including implementing the Law in Motion program at the Sacramento Superior Court, which involved recruiting eight other judges to participate.  These judges met with the students and opened their courtrooms and chambers to them. Students were able to view courtroom proceedings and ask questions of the judges before and after their viewings.  Brown said the personal satisfaction he feels from helping the KHOP students more than justifies the relatively small time commitment required.

"The students come from diverse backgrounds, each possessing an infectious zeal for learning," said Brown.  "Undoubtedly, they will go on to achieve much in their adult lives.  As volunteers, we have the satisfaction of providing support for their journeys."

KHOP is seeking volunteers for this summer's program.  To find out how you can help, please contact Ginger Welsh, Associate Director of Alumni Relation, at gwelsh@ucdavis.edu.