Monthly Archives: March 2015

SBA Deans Forum

At least once a semester, the Student Bar Association (SBA) at Pepperdine Law hosts an SBA Deans Forum with Dean Tacha and all the associate deans.  The forum reflects the administration’s ongoing desire to be accessible to the students and engage in open conversations on issues that are important to the student body.

Yesterday was our spring semester SBA Deans Forum, which included three specific updates from the deans:
(1) Dean Tacha provided a brief update on the most recent US News rankings;
(2) I briefly mentioned the results of the first annual all-student survey; and
(3) Dean Saxer provided an open floor for student thoughts on class scheduling.

As is tradition, the SBA provided Diddy Riese cookies, and the last fifteen minutes were reserved for students to share their thoughts with the SBA leadership.


First Annual Parris Awards

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2015 marks the first year of the Parris Institute and the First Annual Parris Awards. The Parris Awards will be celebrated each Spring to honor those third-year law students who exhibit the highest order of the pillars of professionalism. The values of any institution are usually emphasized by that which is honored. At Pepperdine, we value the greatest traditions, ideals, and aspirations of the profession.All faculty, staff, and students were invited to nominate candidates for the awards making the awards unique and particularly special. Nominations were based on actual narratives of stories that capture each candidate’s attributes. Ultimately, the faculty and administrators voted to determine the recipients.

The inaugural awards celebration was held last Friday, and it was a moving event (which featured a well-used tissue box for several of the faculty presenters!).

The awards and recipients are listed below:

  • Excellence in Character: Charlie Walker
  • Excellence in Service: Stephen White
  • Excellence in Leadership: Sarah Gerdes & David Moreshead
  • Excellence in Public Interest: Joe Spano
  • Excellence in Global Justice: Stephanie Brown
  • Excellence in Dispute Resolution: Amanda Sanchez
  • Excellence in Professionalism: Nora Sassounian
  • Excellence in Courage: Paige Curry
  • The Pepperdine Award: Scott Sasser

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Academic Advising Week: Career Practice Area Networking Fair

Today offers a big conclusion to Academic Advising Week when thirty-six practicing attorneys (and alums) from a wide variety of practice areas come to campus to meet with our students.  Students will have the opportunity to ask attorneys practicing in fields they find interesting questions about how to break into that specific field, which courses and programs they should focus on in law school, and anything else they are wondering!

We appreciate our alumni so very much and the commitment of those coming to campus today to share their time, knowledge, and expertise with our students.

I also appreciate our Career Development Office and our Office of Alumni Relations who worked so hard together to make this event possible today.

Academic Advising Week: Faculty Class Fair

Today, our 1L students will be able to visit with our faculty and ask questions about upper-division courses.  The move from “1L” to the upper division is a big one in many ways, not the least of which is the opportunity to pick classes!

Academic Advising Week: Clinics, Externships, and Practicums

Today, our 1L students have the opportunity to learn about our great clinics, externships, and practicums during a lunchtime fair.  Examples include:

  • Community Justice Clinic
  • Investor Advocacy Clinic
  • Legal Aid Clinic
  • Ninth Circuit Appellate Advocacy Clinic
  • Special Education Advocacy Clinic
  • J.D. Externship Program
  • Washington D.C. Externship Semester
  • Criminal Justice Dispute Resolution Practicum
  • Federal Criminal Practice Practicum

Academic Advising Week: Program & Information Fair

Today, our 1L students have the chance to interact with the following programs and journals during a lunchtime fair:

  • Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution
  • Geoffrey H. Palmer Center for Entrepreneurship and the Law
  • Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion and Ethics
  • Global Justice Program
  • Advocacy Programs
  • Entertainment, Media, & Sports Dispute Resolution
  • International Opportunities
  • Diane and Guilford Glazer Institute for Jewish Studies
  • Pepperdine Law Review
  • Pepperdine Dispute Resolution Law Journal
  • Journal of the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary
  • Journal of Business, Entrepreneurship and the Law

Academic Advising Week Begins Today


Today begins our third annual Academic Advising Week for 1Ls.  The entire 1L class will assemble at lunchtime and receive the 2015 edition of “The Orange Book” (pictured above).  The Orange Book is an academic advising booklet that combines the vast array of important information on graduation requirements, registration procedures, bar exam information, law school programs, and possible career pathways in one place so that students can more effectively map out their upper division years.

The rest of Academic Advising Week will consist of lunchtime fairs in our atrium.  On each day, students will be able to meet with various law school resources as they consider how to plan their upper division years.

  • Tuesday is our Program Information Fair.
  • Wednesday is our Clinics & Externships Fair.
  • Thursday is our Faculty Class Fair.
  • Friday is our Career Practice Area Networking Fair.

Testifying Before Congress

Earlier this week, Professor Gregory S. McNeal testified before Congress at a hearing entitled “Unmanned Aerial System Threats: Exploring Security Implications and Mitigation Technologies.”  You can see more information at the Committee on Homeland Security website HERE.

JBEL & Palmer Center Symposium

Regulatory Capture and Technological Entrepreneurship: Protecting Consumer Interests?

Friday, March 20, in the Mendenhall Appellate Courtroom, 9:00am–3:00pm

The spring 2015 symposium presented jointly by the Journal of Business, Entrepreneurship, and the Law and the Palmer Center seeks to bring together great minds from each of the journal’s namesake areas to discuss the significance of established and new businesses that break from the models of their predecessors using peer-to-peer and other innovative models, creating nuanced and unresolved questions of law and public policy. Examples of such businesses to be discussed are Tesla, Lyft, Uber, AirBNB, and others.

Faith and the Law: A Conversation with Professor Michael Helfand

I am hosting a brown-bag lunch conversation with Professor Michael Helfand on the roles of faith, religion, and spiritual life in the law and the practice of law during the lunch hour today.  I will interview Professor Helfand on his personal experience in law practice, which will be followed by an opportunity for the students to ask questions.  This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to hear from a popular professor on such an important topic!