Category Archives: Classes

A Break From The Blog

Today ends the last full week of classes for the spring semester.  Next week, classes will end on Wednesday, followed by the intense preparation period for final exams.

I will attend two back-to-back conferences next week, so I will return in time to begin our two weeks of finals.

The blog will take a break next week as I travel, but it will return on Monday, April 17, and track our exam period.


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 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.

Disaster Law with Professor Zellmer

Our faculty is simply fantastic, but our students get the special opportunity from time to time to learn from a distinguished visiting professor.  Yesterday, I was a guest in Professor Sandra Zellmer’s class on Disaster Law to share my experiences of loss in Hurricane Katrina.

Professor Zellmer is our distinguished visiting professor this semester.  She is the Robert Daugherty Professor at the University of Nebraska College of Law, where she began teaching in 2003.  Zellmer teaches torts, environmental law, natural resources, water law, and related courses.

She has published numerous articles and commentary on these topics, as well as several books,including Mississippi River Tragedies: A Century of Unnatural Disasters (NYU 2014) (with Christine Klein),Principlesof Natural Resources Law (West 2014) (with Jan Laitos), and Comparative Environmental Law (Carolina 2013).

Professor Zellmer is a member scholar of the Center for Progressive Reform and a trustee of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation. Zellmer also recently served on the National Academy of Sciences—National Research Council Committee on MissouriRiver Recovery (2008-2010). She is active with the American Bar Association’s Section on Environment, Energy and Resources, serving as vice-chair of the Public Lands Committee and previously as the Chair of Marine Resources Committee.

Prior to taking her position at the University of Nebraska, Zellmer was a faculty member at the University of Toledo College of Law. She has also been a visiting professorat Tulane, Drake, Lewis and Clark, and the University of Auckland law schools.

Before she began teaching, Zellmer was an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division, litigating public lands and NEPA issues for theNational Park Service,Forest Service, Fish & Wildlife Service and other federal agencies.  She also practiced law at Faegre & Benson in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and clerked for the Honorable William W. Justice, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas.

An Interesting Week Ahead

It is possible that it will be sooner based on professor response time, but if all goes as planned, the 1L class will receive their fall semester grades at the end of this week.

The 1Ls are getting into their new classes–Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Ethics, and Property–and settling back into a familiar class in Legal Research & Writing.  But as is the case each year, they have not yet received feedback on how they performed on their first semester exams.

This makes for an interesting week ahead.

It is rare that first-semester grades are fatal to a law student’s future in the profession, although it is inevitable that some will discover that they are in a difficult position.  On the other end of the spectrum, some will learn that they are at the top of the class and realize that there are a few select doors open to them that they might not have previously considered.  For most, by design, they will learn that they are in a solid position, which means that they are well on their way to becoming lawyers.

From my position in the law school, I encourage students to be the sort of human beings who receive evaluations simply as feedback as opposed to receiving evaluations as personal.  For example, the former group will see a grade as an update on what worked and what didn’t work, while the latter will see a grade as a statement on whether they are good or bad at law school.

Research has shown that the former are not only more successful in life, but also more happy.

But it is hard not to be the latter.

The 1L class is in my deepest thoughts and prayers at this time each year.  The grades they will receive this week do not define the talented individuals that comprise the class, but as I often tell them, the way they choose to respond to their grades can (and often, will).

The Final Finals!

Today is the day – the last day of final exams!  For the student body, a much-needed break is on the way.

Three upper-division finals are scheduled today:

  • Criminal Procedure with Professor McGoldrick
  • Immigration Law with Professor Hill
  • Patent Law with Professor Philpott

And, to end the first-year students’ important first semester of law school–Contracts with Professors Boliek, Chen, and Helfand.

Day Eight of Final Exams

It is the penultimate day of final exams!  There is light at the end of the tunnel!

Six upper-division finals scheduled today:

  • Land Use Planning with Professor Ordin
  • Federal Income Tax of Property Transactions with Professor Bost
  • Entertainment Law with Professor Schwartz
  • Federal Income Tax with Professor Johnson
  • Federal Income Tax with Professor Popovich
  • European Union Law with Professor Turk (in London)

Day Seven of Final Exams

We are starting to come down the home stretch!

Several upper-division finals lined up for today:

  • Comparative Law with Professor Childress
  • Corporations with Professor Bost
  • Asylum & Refugee Law with Judge Einhorn
  • Video Game Law with Professor Blakely
  • Health Care Organizations with Professors Larson and Garner
  • Wine Law with Professor Simas

Day Six of Final Exams

This morning:

  • Federal Estate and Gift Tax with Professor Caron
  • California Civil Procedure with Professor Schultz
  • Remedies with Professor Ogden

This afternoon:

  • Civil Procedure with Professors Goodno, Ogden, and Taha
  • A Supreme View of Bankruptcy with Professor Scarberry
  • Public International Law with Professor Webb (in London)

Day Five of Final Exams

It is a rainy day in the Los Angeles area.  Other than traffic challenges getting to campus, all is well at Pepperdine (other than seeing more rain than normal).

Thankfully, only three upper-division finals on tap this morning, and all are smaller in terms of class size:

  • Copyright Law with Professor McDonald
  • International Tax with Professor Johnson
  • Communications Law with Professor McGoldrick

We have a large (class size) upper-division final scheduled for the afternoon — Wills and Trusts with Professor Knaplund.

And, our London students will be sitting for their Evidence exams with Professor Gash this afternoon, too.