News Posted on August 22, 2012
Class of 2015 Joins King Hall
Members of the UC Davis School of Law Class of 2015 began their first semester courses on August 20, bringing a wide range of talents, backgrounds, and interests to King Hall's accomplished and diverse student body. Students in the new class were fresh from Intro Week and the successful completion of Introduction to Law, the one-week course first-year students take prior to the beginning of classes for second- and third-year students.
Of the 191 members of the Class of 2015, 47 percent are women, and people of color comprise nearly 50 percent of the class. The new students have a median GPA of 3.6, median LSAT of 163, and hail from 84 different undergraduate institutions--the highest number of any incoming King Hall class in recent history. The Class of 2015 includes students from all of the University of California campuses except UC Merced, as well as graduates of a diverse range of universities including, among many other schools, Boise State, Bowdoin, Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Loyola-Chicago, New York University, Oberlin, Sacramento State University, Stanford, the U.S. Air Force Academy, University of Florida, University of Oklahoma, University of Southern California, University of Texas, University of Washington, Vanderbilt, and Yale, as well as China's Wuhan University and Yonsei University of Korea. A total of 17 students are non-U.S. citizens, including six from China, two from Korea, and students from Bangladesh, Canada, India, Italy, Kuwait, Mexico, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom.
A substantial number of the new class have experience in the legal profession, with students having worked as clerks or interns at law firms, public defenders' offices, or district attorneys' offices. Many have also volunteered with programs like AmeriCorps, Habitat for Humanity, and Head Start, or with local programs assisting the homeless, survivors of sexual abuse, at-risk youth, and others in need. Their personal interests range from yoga and musical performance to fly fishing and scuba diving.
A few highlights selected from the narrative profiles students submitted to the Law School include:
- Megha Bhatt: A graduate of UC Davis, where she earned degrees in Religious Studies and Political Science: Public Service, Megha founded the University's Human Rights Journal and volunteered at the Women's Resources and Research Center. She also worked as a Legislative Affairs Intern in the Office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and has taught Yoga courses for the past four years in Davis and Sacramento. She is from El Dorado Hills, California and hopes to explore International Law at King Hall.
- Jeanette Hawn: A graduate of UC San Diego, she earned a degree in Political Science and was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, the Phi Sigma Theta National Honor Society, Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society, and the Golden Key International Honor Society. As a Corps Member with Teach for America, she worked as a teacher in the Head Start program in the Los Angeles area and served as Early Childhood Education Cohort Chair.
- Gagandeep Kaur: A graduate of UCLA, she majored in Political Science and minored in Women's Studies and Public Affairs and went on to earn a Master of Public Policy degree from UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. She has worked as a graduate student researcher with the National Center for History in the Schools, and as a research associate at the Berkeley-based consulting firm BTW informing change, which serves nonprofit and philanthropic organizations. She has also volunteered for organizations including Neighborhood Legal Services--Workers' Right Center, the Anti-Defamation League, Alliance for Children's Rights, and others. Born in India, she moved to her hometown of Hayward, California at age 11.
- Jonathan Mulligan: A graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, where he earned degrees in International Relations and Spanish, he also studied at Seattle University, where he played on the basketball team for two years. He went on to earn a master's degree in International Relations from IE University in Madrid, Spain, and has taught English in Chile and in Bolivia, where he also worked in an orphanage. He is a dual citizen of the United States and of Chile, and a former intern for U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He also has a family connection to UC Davis: his mother earned her PhD in Spanish literature at UC Davis 25 years ago.
- Luca Ognibene: A native New Yorker, he earned his undergraduate degree in Politics and Italian Studies and a master's degree in Computer Science from New York University. He is the co-founder of Bella*Bene Productions in Los Angeles, where he lived for nine years, and has worked as an art director in the beauty and fashion industry, handling several international accounts, and as an editor and post production artist in commercials and music videos. He is a member of Lambda Legal, a contributor to the Equality California Institute, and has volunteered for Abundance Therapy, a group that uses music and the arts to teach motor skills and promote healthy personal relationships, in Los Angeles.
- Moona Siddiqui: A graduate of UC Berkeley where she earned a degree in Society and the Environment, she was involved as a student in the Latino Pre-Law Society, the Muslim Students Association, and the Muslim Students Association publication Al Bayan. She has also worked in the California State Assembly, served as student liaison for the Filipino/American Coalition for Environmental Solidarity, and interned with the East Bay Community Law Clinic and La Raza Centro Legal.
- John Paul Wallis: A native of Kailua, Hawaii, and a graduate of UC Davis where he earned a degree in American Studies, John is a Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his term of active duty from 2005-2009, he served as a forward observer, fire team leader, vehicle commander, and Chief of Company Level Intelligence Cell, and saw two combat deployments in Iraq with the 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion. He is a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society.