Monthly Archives: December 2012

Finally, the Final Final!

I know our 1Ls don’t necessarily feel fantastic right at this moment, but by lunchtime I suspect they will feel significantly better.

Completing the first semester of law school is quite an accomplishment in and of itself.  You should be proud, they should be proud, and I am proud!

The students really have no idea how much they have learned (and changed) in these few short months.  I should warn you: If you have not had significant interaction with your student this semester, odds are that they will seem to speak a different language when they return home for the holiday break!  This new language may be annoying, but just indulge them.  They won’t know any better.  🙂

I remember very well the first morning after my first semester of law school.  I looked forward so very much to sleeping in and not having to think!  Imagine my disappointment when I woke up at the same time I had awakened all semester, and everything within me said I should be thinking about something!  I had studied so hard for so long that it really did take me several days just to remember how to relax!

Thank you all for tagging along on the blog this semester.  It  has been an experiment that I enjoyed very much.  With the students leaving town, I’m going to take a break from posting anything here until the first day of class next semester (Monday, January 7).  I hope you all have a very happy holiday season!!!


Day Nine, Etc.

Well, it is almost over.  Today is the last set of fall semester finals for upper division students — all that will remain is the last final for 1Ls tomorrow morning!

On tap this morning:

* Asylum & Refugee Law with Judge Einhorn

* Community Property with Professor Miller

On tap this afternoon:

* Juvenile Law with Professor Brackelmans


The Salvation Army arrived yesterday to pick up the amazing collection of toys our students purchased for children with at least one incarcerated parent.  Simply heartwarming!

You can read the story HERE.


Day Eight, Etc.

Upper division finals this morning:

  • Corporations with Professor Anderson
  • Law & Economics with Professor Taha

One upper division final this afternoon:

  • Ethical Criminal Practice with Professor McNeal

I wanted to share two links that I think you will find interesting today:

  1. An article in Pepperdine Magazine about one of our distinguished alums, Pierre Prosper.
  2. A picture in the current edition of the ABA Journal of one of our current students, Mia Getlin, reading to children in Tanzania.

Day Seven, Etc.

Upper division finals this morning:

  • Ethical Lawyering with Professor Ogden
  • Patent Law with Professor Harris

Upper division finals this afternoon:

  • Antitrust with Professor Boliek
  • Criminal Procedure with Professor McGoldrick
  • Employment Law with Professor Schultz

In completely unrelated Pepperdine news, I mentioned last week that the Ellen DeGeneres Show was filming Tom Shadyac on campus.  For those interested in setting the DVR or catching it as it happens, I heard that the episode will be shown tomorrow (Wednesday).  Pepperdine is a regular background/setting for commercials, television shows, etc., but it is far less often that our campus gets a direct shout-out!

Day Six, Etc.

It is a big morning around Pepperdine Law as our first-year students take their Torts final exam!  After today, they will turn their sights on their final “final” of the semester — Property, on Friday.

There are two upper-division finals on tap this afternoon:

  • Federal Income Taxation with Professor Popovich
  • Real Estate Transactions with Professor Kublicki

Last Friday evening was a special evening as a majority of last year’s graduating class gathered to be sworn in as California attorneys.

Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge and Pepperdine alum (who is headed to D.C. this week for Senate hearings due to her nomination to the federal bench!), administered the oath for California.  Dean Deanell Reece Tacha administered the oath for those being sworn in to the Central District of California federal court.

swearing in

Day Five, Etc.

Several upper division finals close out our first week of finals:

* Morning:

  • Commercial Law – Secured Transactions with Professor Prendergast
  • Education Law with Professor James
  • Evidence with Professor Goodman

* Afternoon:

  • Evidence with Professor Gash


Several other exciting things going on around Pepperdine University right now, too!

1. The Ellen DeGeneres Show was on campus yesterday filming one of our Seaver College adjuncts, filmmaker Tom Shadyac!

2. Today, One of our student organizations (Animal Welfare League) is bringing in some canine stress-relievers (aka, therapy dogs) for our stressed law students!

3. Tonight, we host the Swearing-In Ceremony for our graduates that recently passed the bar exam!

4. And last night, on lower campus, Pepperdine brought in an ice-skating rink to get everyone in the holiday spirit!  Check it out!


Day Four, Etc.

Several upper division finals on tap today:

* Morning:

  • Constitutional Law (Individual Rights) with Professor Scarberry
  • Election Law with Professor Muller
  • Federal Estate & Gift Tax with Professor Popovich

* Afternoon:

  • Constitutional Law (Individual Rights) with Professor James
  • Legal Environment of Non-Profit Organizations with Professors Goff & DeWalt
  • Securities Regulations with Professor Bost


Yesterday, I had the opportunity to make a presentation to the University Board of Directors (interestingly, chaired by famed entertainer, Pat Boone).  At the meeting, President Benton shared a brand new video that celebrates the progress made at Pepperdine University over its 75-year history.  I thought you might enjoy seeing it, too.

Day Three

I don’t think it is overly dramatic to say that this could be the toughest day in law school for many students — the first law school final exam.  But the Student Bar Association is setting up a table with complimentary bagels as we speak.  And I’m about to head down for some pre-game hugs and high fives.  And it will be over soon enough.

On tap this morning — Civil Procedure for the entire 1L class.

On tap this afternoon — Remedies with Professor Ogden and Business Planning with Professor Bost for our upper division students.

Day Two

More upper division finals on tap today:

  • Criminal Procedure with Professor Chase
  • Federal Income Tax for Business Entities with Professor McCarden
  • Wills & Trusts with Professor Knaplund

The bigger news for our 1Ls is that today is Finals Eve — the day before their first law school final exam!!!

Day One

Today is the first day of our final exam period for the fall semester.  Only upper division finals are on tap today — Constitutional Structure with Ambassador Kmiec this morning, and both Constitutional Structure with Professor McDonald and Intellectual Property Survey with Professor Harris this afternoon.  We have ten days of exams to administer, so we are simply getting started.

On the day of a final exam, students report to our “assignment board” where they find the room their exam will be administered in.  Here is a photo of the board this morning:


I guess there is no way around the stress of a cumulative final examination graded on a strict curve.  To combat the stress, I try to use the racing metaphor of the “home stretch.”  Finals typically feel like you are asked to do something monumental — instead, I prefer approaching finals with the attitude that the monumental task was the entire semester.  All that is left now is racing down that final stretch and crossing the finish line!