Monthly Archives: May 2013

Association of Academic Support Educators


I am currently at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas for the inaugural national conference of the Association of Academic Support Educators. It is exciting to gather with a great group of student-focused colleagues all working to help students succeed in law school.  We are just getting started, and I already have several important ideas to implement this fall!


Al Sturgeon


Good News!

Emily Suhr, one of our rising 2Ls, was named as one of three national recipients of the 2013 John J. Curtin, Jr. Fellowship!

The Curtin Justice Fund Legal Internship Program is managed jointly by the ABA Commission on Homelessness and Poverty and the Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants.  The Program provides funding to three law school students who spend the summer months working for a bar association or legal services program designed to prevent homelessness or assist homeless or indigent clients or their advocates.

Here is the announcement.

Congratulations to Emily!!!

Pepperdine Drive FORE Justice


As the Director of Student Life here at Pepperdine Law, one of the best things about my job is the chance to see Alumni as they’ve moved on from law school to become successful practicing attorneys.  Our Annual Golf Tournament – The Pepperdine Drive FORE Justice (Benefiting the Global Justice Program) raised over $15,000 this year and brought together alums from across 40 years.  This year participants braved scorching temperatures (mid 90’s) at a picturesque Calabasas Country Club for a chance to claim first place. The winning score of 58 (12 under) scored by the four gentleman above (including a trophy presentation from Dean Tacha) included Pep Law alums Mike Procopio (’86) and Tim Shannon (’87),

As always, a great time was had by all!  For those that would like to play next year, the tourney is open to all friends and Alum of the Law school.

Have a great weekend – Carlton

Editorial Position

Professor Greg McNeal shared the news that rising 3L Morgan Bennett was selected to serve as an editor on the symposium issue of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy.  This is the second year in a row that a Pepperdine student has received this honor.

Morgan is one of our top students and is involved in the Federalist Society, the Pepperdine Law Review, the Christian Legal Society, and is a Blackstone Fellow.  She is currently an extern for Chief Judge Royce Lamberth on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Congratulations to Morgan!

Preceptor Appreciation Day

Brock Beach House

This past Sunday, Dean Tacha opened up the beautiful Brock/Bettingen Beach House to meet with our inaugural 1L Preceptors.  It was a perfect day in “So Cal” and the event, held in special appreciation for efforts made on behalf of Pepperdine Law and our students, was really enjoyed by all who attended.  Here’s a picture of the view from the beach house deck.  Not too shabby 🙂

February Bar Exam Results

Overall, our graduates received good news from the results of the February California Bar Examination.

Our pass rate for first-time takers stands at 88% (7-8).  The California ABA schools first-timer pass rate was 60%, the out-of-state ABA rate was 49%, and the overall rate for first-time takers was 52%.

Our repeater pass rate stands at 76% (19-25).  For repeaters, the CA ABA school repeater rate was 50%, the out-of-state ABA school repeater rate was 39%, and the overall repeater rate was 36%.

Only 41% of all takers passed the February exam (compared to our overall pass rate of 78% – including both first-time takers and repeaters).

More interesting tidbits:

  • The Class of 2013 had six December grads take the exam – and all six passed (100%)!
  • The Class of 2012 repeater pass rate was 81% on their second attempt (17-21).

A New Option

Graduation last Friday, and today, summer school begins!  With this new beginning, a brand new “accelerated” option arrives for incoming students that I shared in an earlier post.  This option provides the opportunity to fulfill all of the JD requirements in twenty-four months.

As with the start of anything new, we did not know if there would be actual interest.  Today, however, we will welcome seven new students that have enrolled in the Accelerated Option.  This afternoon, I have the opportunity to welcome them to Pepperdine Law in a brief orientation.

Graduation Day!

Class of 2013

Congratulations to the Class of 2013!  Today we celebrate this class by awarding diplomas in beautiful Alumni Park overlooking the Pacific Ocean!

Graduation Breakfast


The atrium is set up for one of the most special events of the year.  At 10am, our graduates will assemble with the faculty and administration for our annual Graduates Breakfast.

Although the commencement exercises schedule for tomorrow morning are fun in their own right, they are far more formal than what will take place this morning.  Today, three speakers selected by the class — a female graduate (Raisa Garvin), a male graduate (Elliott Dionisio), and a faculty member (Professor Steve Schultz) will address the graduating class.  If tradition holds, the speeches will be very entertaining!

The breakfast is a great annual tradition that allows our graduating class the unique opportunity to simply have a fun morning with one another and with the faculty that have guided their intense studies over the past three years.

Hope Heals

My family lived in the on-campus George Page apartments when I was a law student at Pepperdine.  During our time at “Page,” we discovered that we lived in Katherine and Jay Wolf’s old apartment.  It was there, in that apartment, where Katherine suffered a massive brain stem stroke just weeks before Jay was set to graduate from law school.  Jay just “happened” to be in the apartment with Katherine instead of studying in the library when she suffered the stroke.  She was rushed immediately to the hospital at UCLA.  Katherine was not expected to survive the stroke, but miraculously, she did much more than survive.

I encourage you to go to their website — Hope Heals — and take in their amazing story through a short film recently released.