I have been involved in several new student orientations here at the Pepperdine School of Law, but today marks the first time I have been in charge of the event. It is possible that I am as excited (and nervous) as your students!
This year, Dean Tacha asked me to compress three full days of orientation into two. Her request was based on student feedback, and I have attempted to streamline the process while still providing the thorough introduction that our past orientations have famously provided. We’re about to see how that goes.
The first morning session is always my favorite. It is so neat to see our faculty, deans, and directors arrive in business attire to be introduced to our new students. Our founding dean, Ronald F. Phillips, will offer a prayer this morning. Our current dean, Deanell Reece Tacha, will offer a welcome. The president of Pepperdine University, Andrew K. Benton, will address the students. I hope that this steady stream of impressive leaders will impress upon the students how glad we are that they are here while simultaneously providing them with an introduction to the noble profession to which they aspire.
There is much more on tap today:
* I get to share “The Pepperdine Story”
* Professor Grant Nelson will offer a “Welcome to the Legal Profession”
* My colleague, Carlton Oliver, and I will introduce “Student Life”
* A panel of professors will introduce the students to the idea of “professionalism”
* Dean Bohl will introduce the students to our impressive law library
* The students will get identification cards, campus tours, technology help, lockers, and free ice cream!!!
And tonight, for those that are interested, our famed Global Justice Program offers an evening panel and dinner. Interestingly, the dinner is provided by the co-CEO of Chipotle Mexican Grill, who is a proud alum of the Pepperdine University School of Law (Class of 1993).
Oh, and our students will get their first assignment. We will have a mock class Friday morning, and the students will have a case to read tonight – the first of many they will read!
It is early in the morning here in Malibu. I am eagerly anticipating this special day.
Years from now, many of our nation’s leaders will think back and remember that their journey into the legal profession began this very day. It is such an honor to be a part of it.