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News Posted on August 22, 2011

Class of 2014 Joins King Hall

1LsMembers of the UC Davis School of Law Class of 2014 began legal studies August 15, bringing an extraordinary range of talents, backgrounds, and interests to King Hall's already accomplished and diverse student body. 

The 192 students in the class boast a median undergraduate GPA of 3.63 and a median Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score of 164.  About 48 percent are women, and one-third are people of color.  They range in age from age 16 to 48.  More than half earned undergraduate degrees from the University of California, but 34 percent arrived from institutions outside the state, including Harvard, Princeton, Cornell, Columbia, Georgetown, Wake Forest, Brigham Young University, Northwestern University, Washington University, University of Colorado, University of Michigan, University of Virginia, University of Amsterdam (Netherlands), Peking University (China), and Hangdong Global University (Korea), to name just a few. 

Their legal interests are varied, with 35 percent indicating a possible future in public interest law, 29 percent indicating international law, 23 percent environmental law, 18 percent intellectual property, 18 percent public law and policy, and 16 percent business and corporate law.  Other members of the class indicated interests in civil rights, criminal law, civil litigation, and health law.  A substantial number of incoming students have experience in the legal profession, often as a legal assistant, paralegal, or law firm intern. 

Members of the Class of 2014 are remarkable for their diversity of life experience.  Seven are non-U.S. citizens, hailing from Armenia, Colombia, South Korea, Netherlands, China, and Thailand, and many have studied abroad in countries including Australia, Spain, Mexico, China, France, Austria, Ukraine, and Brazil.  The class includes speakers of Arabic, Japanese, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Farsi, Italian, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, and Russian.  There are triathletes, a ballet instructor, a pastry chef, an opera singer, veterans of military service, founders of businesses, and many students who have volunteered for community organizations or as tutors for local schools, or served with the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Habitat for Humanity, and other public service organizations.

A few examples drawn from the narrative profiles submitted by students (pictured above, clockwise from top right, Micheal J. Sellers, Annalisa Louise Batanides, Edwin W. Steussy, Claire C. Jacobson, Anna Esther Yi, and Mitchell M. Suliman) to the Law School include:

  • Annalisa Louise Batanides: A graduate of UC Davis, where she earned a degree in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning, she also attended James Cook University in Cairnes, Australia, interned for California Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, worked for Environment California/Environment America, interned for California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG), and volunteered for the Human Rights Campaign and in local elementary school classrooms.
  • Claire C. Jacobson: A graduate of Princeton University, where she studied Politics, played water polo, and was a member of the All-Ivy Academic Team. She also has taught third and first grade, was a Teach for America corps member, and an advisor for the Teach for America Phoenix Institute during the summer of 2011.
  • Michael J. Sellers: A graduate of SUNY University at Albany, he was elected mayor of his hometown, Cobleskill, New York, at the age of 21, and served for four years, pursuing an agenda of downtown revitalization, youth empowerment, and regional cooperation and consolidation. He moved to the Bay Area two years ago and has been working as a paralegal for JGPC Business & Corporate Law in Pleasanton.
  • Mitchell M. Suliman: An honors graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a degree in International Relations, he serves as an Active Duty Captain in the U.S. Army Military Intelligence Corps, and has combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also participated in competitive academic debate, was selected to be part of the National Academic All-American Debate Team, and currently volunteers as a debate coach.
  • Edwin E. Steussy: He earned his undergraduate degree in Physics from Northwestern University and has worked as an international entrepreneur for 25 years, starting or running businesses in Russia, Taiwan, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and the United Kingdom.
  • Anna Esther Yi: A graduate of UCLA with a degree in Sociology, she has worked at the Los Angeles Superior Court as a Judicial Administration Fellow and served in AmeriCorps at a pre-school in South Los Angeles and in AmeriCorps' JusticeCorps at the downtown Los Angeles and Pasadena legal aid centers. She has also interned with the Service Employees International Union, served on the Steering Committee of the Darfur Action Committee, and lived abroad in South Korea and Spain.