The winds around legal education continue to swirl, but La Verne Law is moving forward at a steady pace. The announcement by Whittier College that it is closing its law school has sent waves of shock, disbelief, and concern through the legal community, but is also creating opportunity. We are holding course on our enrollment projections and operations, while making ourselves available for any individual – new enrollee or transfer – who is interested in the quality legal education provided at the College of Law and meets our qualifications for admission.
In the meantime, we have a lot to celebrate at La Verne Law. We had a very successful Law Review Symposium focusing on issues and concerns surrounding the Mexican-United States border.
Our students had an enlightening and enjoyable time during the pro bono project, the Justice Bus, during spring break. They helped individuals complete petitions for expungement of criminal records in Bakersfield. That project has opened doors for cooperation between the College of Law and the University of La Verne’s Bakersfield regional campus.
In April, alumna Candice Garcia-Rodrigo was elected president of the Latina Women’s Business Association for the Inland Empire. Ms. Garcia-Rodrigo has a practice that focuses on probate and business law.
Also in April, two students, Lauren Vogt and Veronica Hernandez, reached the finals of the HNBA National Moot Court Competition in Miami, Florida. They placed second among the 32 teams that reached the national finals.
More recently, we had a fabulous 47th Commencement and Hooding Ceremony on May 13. The speaker was Darrell Miller, managing partner of Fox Rothschild and the Beverly Hills Bar Association’s 2016 Entertainment Lawyer of the Year. As a former entertainer turned successful attorney, he regaled graduates and guests with song and inspirational words.
On May 15, the university recognized five law students for their civic and community engagement. Three students, Thomas Reynolds, Luis Perez, and Jacklyn Williams, received Community Engagement Awards and one student, Zaura Villagomez, received a Diversity and Inclusivity Award. Yunuen Trujillo Jimenez, a 2nd year evening student, received the University of La Verne Spirit of La Verne Award along with Firas Arodaki, a graduate student in the College of Business and Public Management. The Spirit of La Verne Award is the signature recognition by the university for community and civic engagement. Ms. Trujillo-Jimenez received the award for her work with immigrant communities and the Catholic Church LGBTQ ministry.
Our faculty continues to publish new and exciting contributions to the legal discourse in the country. Professors Ashley Lipson and Michael O’Connor have published new editions to their nationally-recognized books, and Professor O’Connor has become the co-principle author of Federal Sentencing Law and Practice. Dean Emeritus Charles Doskow continues to publish thought-provoking articles on Constitutional issues, and Professor Julie Manasfi’s article in the Harvard Business Law Review has drawn national attention.