Category Archives: Events

School of Law Dinner

Here are several pictures from an excellent School of Law Dinner last Saturday:

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Gelato Truck Today!

Today, the Student Bar Association is bringing the Palazzolo Artisan Gelato truck on campus and providing the law school student body with free gelato!

Dalsimer Final Round

The Vincent S. Dalsimer Moot Court Competition is the annual team appellate advocacy intraschool competition at Pepperdine Law.  Two-person teams submit an appellate brief, followed by oral argument rounds.  Students receive one unit of credit for participation, and the finalists have the opportunity to argue the final round before a distinguished panel of judges.  The winning team, as well as Brief and Individual Advocacy awards, are announced at the Law School Dinner.  Prize money donated by alumni is also awarded.

I am pleased to share that the final round has been set: a team of 3Ls, Scott Sasser and Matt Sessions, will compete against a team of 2Ls, Alex Farzan and Tim O’Hair.  The final round will be held this afternoon in front of a large crowd of prospective students in Caruso Auditorium.

Congratulations (and good luck) to our finalists!!!

Open House for Accepted Students Tomorrow!

We are gearing up for a huge day tomorrow when we welcome admitted students to campus for our annual Open House for Accepted Students Day!  This is always an exciting day on campus, and we anticipate well over one hundred guests in attendance.

Open House provides a wonderful opportunity for admitted students to truly check out the Pepperdine community.  They will interact with faculty, staff, and current students as they make their final choice on where to attend law school.

School of Law Dinner This Saturday!


The School of Law will host its 42nd Annual Law Dinner this Saturday evening at the J.W. Marriott at LA Live in downtown Los Angeles.  This year’s dinner will feature Professor Arthur R. Miller.  I encourage you to click HERE for an interesting press release about Professor Miller.  The evening’s theme is titled, “From the Paper Chase to Legally Blonde: An Unfiltered Look at Legal Education.”

SBA Elections Week!

It is the time of year when elections for student leadership positions take place at the Pepperdine University School of Law, including the very important Student Bar Association (SBA) elections that will take place this week.

The SBA is the governing body of the students. The SBA endeavors to represent the entirety of the Law School community in furthering legal education, promoting fellowship and goodwill among students, faculty, and the administration, and advocating the concerns of Pepperdine Law students.

The mission of the SBA is to foster a cooperative, professional, and diverse educational environment at our law school. In pursuit of this mission, the SBA will:

  • Represent student interests to administration and faculty
  • Apprise students of issues and developments concerning our school,
  • Provide financial support to student organizations, and
  • Create opportunities for students to come together in both social and academic settings.

A Full Thursday

Some days are just worth pointing out.  Like, yesterday.

First, there was an amazing lineup of lunch presentations.  The following were the announcements of the options:

100th Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide: Food, Art & Music
Thursday, April 2, in the atrium during lunch. Everyone is welcome to join Pepperdine’s Armenian Law Students Association to celebrate Armenian culture in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Armenian BBQ ($6 a plate), live musical performance by 1L Serje Havandjian and art by 3L Tatev Oganyan and 1L Lusik Gasparyan.
On Thursday, April 2, join the Federalist Society, the American Constitution Society, and the Criminal Law Society for a panel on police practices with James Davis, retired FBI agent, and Dan Stormer, member of the National Lawyers Guild – Los Angeles chapter. Free Buca di Beppo will be provided in Classroom B at 12:30pm and all are welcome.
Thursday, April 2, 12:30-1:30pm, in Mendenhall Appellate Courtroom
The Transactional and In-House Law Student Association and the Career Development Office invite you to come hear the perspectives of a panel of attorneys on the practice of business law and advice on what law students should do while in law school to prepare for a career in business law. This event will take place in the Mendenhall Appellate Courtroom on April 2, during the lunch hour and will provide insight into whether a business law legal career is right for you. Currently scheduled speakers include General Counsels of large corporations, such as Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, Ixia, and DTS, Inc., and business lawyers that counsel large companies. We will be serving Corner Bakery sandwiches and we hope to see you there!

Second, it was a full day for our advocacy programs:

  • There was an information session for all students interested in next week’s moot court tryouts for next year.
  • The Cipolla Closing Argument Tournament took place last night for students interested in trial team for next year.
  • The final round of the John & Maria Moriarty First-Year Moot was held last night, too!

I am exhausted just thinking about yesterday.  TGIF.


Welcome to April, which in law school means the breathless push to finish the academic year strong.  Classes will end this month, and finals will begin, so there is much to do.

In addition to papers to write and outlines to compose, April is the month for student organization elections, moot court and trial team tryouts, and a final flurry of events.  Lots and lots of events.

Today, for instance, the following events are on the calendar:

Wednesday, April 1, 12:00-2:00pm, Darling Trial Courtroom
Kindermock is an annual event put on by Phi Delta Phi where we host elementary students at the law school. The event consists of a tour of the law school and a mock trial of the three little pigs. The visiting students serve as the jury in the trial and must reach a verdict as to whether the big bad wolf is guilty or innocent. This event is a fantastic opportunity to introduce the students to the legal field as well as the Pepperdine community.

Wednesday, April 1, from 12:30-1:30pm in Classroom A
David DePaolo and Alicia Aiden from WorkCompCentral will be on campus to provide an overview of what workers’ compensation law entails and what a career in workers compensation law is like. We encourage you to attend to learn about this growing practice area. Chick Fil A will be provided!

On Wednesday, April 1, in Classroom B from 12:30-1:30pm, Professor Derek Muller will present an informative and entertaining look at an important case that the U.S. Supreme Court is about to decide. To prevent gerrymandering, voters in Arizona passed a ballot initiative handing over the power to draw congressional districts from the state legislature to an independent commission. The Arizona legislature sued, arguing that the power to regulate the times, places, and manner of elections is reserved to the “Legislature” under the United States Constitution. Lunch will be served.

Join us for Dean’s Bible Study this Wednesday Night at 7pm at Gash Manor! This spring, we are focusing on being “equipped” by God, and this week we begin our 3L Speaker Series! This week’s speaker is Peter Kim. You won’t want to miss this, so please join us for a time of worship, prayer, desserts and fellowship. See you there!

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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