Class of 2017 Professionalism Oath

Yesterday was the inaugural Parris Institute Launch Week’s Capstone Day.  It was an outstanding day.

Our 1L class had the unique opportunity to watch ten different attorneys in action in front of the three-person Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel, followed by an insightful Q & A with the judges.

Later, they had another unique opportunity — to hear from Los Angeles City Attorney, Mike Feuer, again followed by a wonderful Q & A session.

Finally, the Class of 2017 worked together to construct their very own oath of professionalism, which was administered to them by the Honorable Terry Jill Adamson.  Following the oath, they signed their names in a gorgeous book to commemorate this special occasion:

Here is the oath they wrote for the Class of 2017:

We as the 1L 2017 class of Pepperdine School of Law do hereby take this Oath of Professionalism this 23 day of October 2014:

We solemnly swear:

- We will spiritedly represent our clients in the pursuit of Justice.
- We will take our assignments seriously regardless of their magnitude and make the most of our opportunities
- We will perform our duties with the highest level of integrity
- We will treat our peers and opponents with honesty and civility regardless of circumstances.
- We will not sacrifice our conviction in pursuit of our passions in law, maintaining our morals even under duress.
- We will value and pursue opportunities to serve our fellow man with our acquired skills and abilities.
- We will uphold the honorable tradition of the Justice System and endeavor to change the view of lawyers for the better.
- We will uphold the Pepperdine School of Law Honor Code
- We will strive to make our legacy at the Pepperdine School of Law one of tenacity and valor.

Pepperdine Law Ranked 5th In Mid-Career Salary Earnings

The Wall Street Journal published an interesting article yesterday based on a survey published by PayScale on mid-career earnings by graduate schools.  Of the 55 law schools with enough reports for statistical validity, Pepperdine ranked #5.  And, of the 600 graduate programs ranked in the entire survey, Pepperdine Law was ranked #6 overall.

Here is the opening of the Wall Street Journal article:

At $201,000 a year, Harvard Law School alumni earn more than those of any other U.S. graduate school by the midpoint in their careers. Ashford University master’s graduates earn the least at that stage, and Loma Linda University graduates are the most confident they are making the world a better place.

The data come courtesy of the online salary-information company PayScale, which has asked 1.4 million people what they earn in return for finding out how they stack up against their peers. The site is designed to help employees negotiate a better salary.

The survey pulled data for more than 600 graduate schools, including only those for which there were enough respondents to make their answers statistically valid.

Among their findings: the midcareer median salary for seven of the top 10 graduate programs were law schools, but business schools produced eight out of the top 10 highest salaries for those less than five years past graduation. Eight of the top 17 programs that produced graduates with the highest midcareer salary were in California, many in and around Silicon Valley.

PayScale has been producing undergraduate salary reports since 2008, but this is the company’s first stab at a graduate-school survey.

Alumni & Events Team


There have been several staff changes over the last few months at the law school, and we are excited to have our new Alumni & Events Team in place!  Pictured above and from the left; Haleigh Grisandra, Events Manager, Jessie Fahy, Esq. (JD ’11), Alumni Director, and Macalee Taylor, Events Coordinator.

Spiritual Formation Goals

Pepperdine Law Students at CLS National Conference (2)

The Pepperdine Law contingent at the Christian Legal Society national conference in Boston

The Pepperdine University School of Law is a Christian law school, and it is common for those outside of the community to wonder exactly what the “Christian” designation means.  It is obvious that the Christian description means something and that Pepperdine is not a secular institution that simply has Christian roots.  However, with no required statement of faith and a community that welcomes people from all faith backgrounds (and no faith background), it does not resemble what might be described as a Bible college either.

This year, a committee of faculty, staff, and students at the law school developed a set of spiritual formation goals for students.  Although the goals are new in terms of a written document, those familiar with the Pepperdine family will recognize that they simply articulate what it has long meant to describe the Pepperdine University School of Law as a Christian law school.

Here are the goals:

As a law school that is deeply committed to its Christian mission and welcoming people of all faiths, it is our goal that all students at the Pepperdine School of Law will…

1) Be loved in an environment where they can thrive and flourish;
2) Embrace and practice disciplines such as generosity, hospitality, relationships, rest, and service;
3) Contemplate and engage the roles of faith, religion, and spiritual life in the law and the practice of law;
4) See models of what it means to attempt to live out the Christian faith; and
5) Feel safe engaging in conversations about faith, and if so engaged, participate in dialogue that accurately represents the Christian faith, other faith traditions, or their understanding of faith.

Armand Arabian Advocacy Tournament Final Round


The final round of the Armand Arabian Advocacy Tournament was spectacular.  First, we had an amazing final round bench, with two sitting federal judges who also happen to be Pepperdine Law alums and a retired federal immigration judge who also happens to be a popular long-time adjunct faculty member.

But the stars were our two 3L finalists — David Moreshead and Scott Sasser.  Typically, after a moot court argument, the judges compliment the finalists and offer some pointers on how to improve.  This was the first time I have witnessed a final round bench with absolutely nothing to say in critique!  They were that good.

But the judges had to declare a winner, and in the end, David Moreshead (second from the right above) emerged as champion!

Congratulations to both David and Scott for their great work!


Waves Weekend


Today is a big day at the law school due to Family Day, the finals of the Armand Arabian Advocacy Tournament, and the meeting of our Board of Visitors.

Today also begins a big weekend at Pepperdine University.  Waves Weekend, Pepperdine’s homecoming, starts today and runs through Sunday.

There is a fantastic lineup of fun on the Malibu campus this weekend, including Blue & Orange Madness this evening to kickoff the basketball season and the annual Waves Weekend Concert on Saturday night featuring platinum-selling recording artists the Plain White T’s and Andy Grammer.

State Bar of California Information Session

Today, we are honored that Gayle Murphy, who directs the Office of Admissions for the State Bar of California, will speak to our 3L class.  Ms. Murphy will provide an overview of the admissions process in California, including registration, moral character, MPRE, and the bar exam itself. This is our fourth consecutive year to host Ms. Murphy, and it is an excellent opportunity to hear from the person who oversees the entire admissions process!


Supreme Court Talk

One of the (wonderful) challenges our students have is doing their required work while also taking advantage of the many outstanding lunchtime events that are on the calendar each week.

For example, today at lunch, Professor Babette Boliek will be giving a presentation about the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. v. Aereo, Inc.  In that decision, the Court prohibited a service that allowed people to watch publicly available television programs over the Internet at about the same time as the programs were broadcast over the air.

Family Day is This Friday!

I hope that many of you are planning to attend our annual Family Day this Friday!  This is always a fun day at the School of Law.

Here is the schedule:

  • 8:30am: Coffee and Registration
  • 9:10am: Attend a First-Year Class (Civil Procedure)
  • 10:20am: Welcome from Dean Tacha
  • 10:35am: A Panel Presentation and Discussion on Law School Life
  • 11:45am: Final Round, Critique, and Award Presentation for the Armand Arabian Advocacy Tournament
  • 12:45pm: Luncheon
  • 1:30pm: Guided Building Tour

If you have questions, please contact Margaret Barfield.  Hope to see you here!

Final Round Set!

Update from Professor Nancy McGinnis:

I am pleased to announce that 3Ls David Moreshead and Scott Sasser are the advocates for the Final Round of the Armand Arabian Advocacy Tournament.  They will argue at Family Day this Friday at 11:45 a.m, which will be followed by a critique and the awards presentation.

Our bench for the round consists of the Honorable Andre Birotte, the Honorable Jennifer Dorsey, and the Honorable Bruce Einhorn.

Congratulations to 2L Chelsey Huso for writing a great problem and to Moot Court Board Chair 3L Ryan Trotta for leading the Moot Court Board.


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