Category Archives: Introduction


Yesterday I announced three new Student organizations that will be active here at the School of Law effective immediately.  The organizations are the result of passionate students who felt a strong need for something that currently did not exist here at Pepperdine Law.   I’m excited about these new groups, their leadership teams and all they will do to further enhance the co-curricular experience here at Pepperdine Law.

  • Networking Society (DRPC) – The group is created to establish referral and support relationships in and amongst the group toward the goal of securing post-graduate jobs in various legal fields.  The group will be run in conjunction with the schools CDO.  Assistant Dean Selina Brandt will serve as advisor and include mock interviews, resume and cover letter workshops and of course, networking functions.
  • LSCY (Law Students as Catalyst for Youth) –  LSCY will mentor teenage youth in high school and juvenile detention centers as they prepare to enter adulthood and become productive member of our society. LSCY will,  by providing guidance, knowledge, and demystifying higher education, advance Pepperdine’s mission by striving to ensure mentees are strengthened for lives of purpose, service, and leadership.  LSCY will be an outreach made up of Pepperdine University School of Law students, faculty, and alumni. The faculty advisor will be Stephanie Bell.
  • Video Game Law Society –  This group will exist to provide student interaction with professionals working in the video game industry (including publishers, developers, trademark & patent attorneys and journalists.) and their respective companies and firms.  The group hopes to aid members in their preparation for a career in the video game sector of law and business. The faculty advisor will be Ed Larson.

Another win for Pepperdine Law

Hi Everyone,
My name is Carlton Oliver and I serve as the Director of Student Life here at the Pepperdine University School of Law.
I’m happy to be joining Dean Sturgeon to highlight some of the great things happening here and abroad with Pepperdine Law students.
Last week one of our student leaders, Edward Lee was honored in Washington DC, as a recipient for this years National Asian Pacific American Law Student Association Student of the Year.  Ed was recognized for his exceptional work and significant commitment to serve his local APALSA chapter here at Pepperdine, where he serves as President
Having worked closely with Edward over the past several months, I can attest to his exceptional organizational and administrative abilities and his sincere passion for bringing people together.  I love when these kinds of honors find Pepperdine students and can think of few more deserving than Ed.
Another nice moment for Pepperdine Law!
3L Edward Lee shows off his 'Student of the Year' award at NAPALSA conference in Washington DC

3L Edward Lee shows off his ‘Student of the Year’ award at NAPALSA conference in Washington DC

Office of Student Life

I will admit that I feel a little guilty.  I have been stealing all the attention for myself via the blog, but the Office of Student Life consists of more than just me.  Your students have two other people serving and caring for them that you should know: Margaret Barfield and Carlton Oliver.

In addition to other responsibilities, Margaret serves as an Executive Assistant in the Office of the Dean — a position she has held for many years.  Margaret is “the” fixture in our office — the one who keeps us organized and on top of things.  There is no one more kind, conscientious, even-keeled, and responsible than Margaret.  It is an honor to work with her every day.

Carlton serves as the Director of Student Life & Student Outreach.  He assumed this role shortly before I stepped into mine, so we feel like a package deal.  He has been added as an administrator on this blog, so I won’t go into too much detail in case he wants to introduce himself.  I’ll just say that Director Oliver may be one of the best friends your students will ever have — his greatest strength is his ability to form genuine interpersonal relationships, and we are blessed to have him in such close contact with our student body.  I am blessed to count him as a friend.  (The only way to top Carlton is to meet his wife, Molly, and his son, Cameron!)

If you make it to Family Day later this month, be sure to say hello to both Margaret and Carlton!

Time to Begin

Well, the time to get oriented is over and the time to get started has arrived.  It is a big day for this incredible group of students.

It has been such a pleasure to meet so many of these impressive men and women.  I look forward to the opportunity to meet everyone — and to get to know everyone on  a deeper level throughout the year.

Our first year students will begin their study of law this morning in a course named Civil Procedure.  We call it “Civ Pro” for short.  Professors Taha, Muller, and Goodno have the honors, and they will do a terrific job of hitting leadoff.

With the baseball metaphor, I’d like to post several pictures from our softball game last Saturday.  That was great fun, and the students seemed to have a lot of fun getting to know one another (and watching faculty/staff tweak and pull various muscles!).  In addition, I will throw in a few good pictures from orientation earlier in the week.

Day Two of Orientation

Yesterday was a great day!  What an amazing group of students we have assembled here.  It was so fun to start the long process of getting to know them all!

Here are a couple of pictures from yesterday:

We have another big day today.  Here is what is on tap:

  • An introduction to “preparing for class” by some of our top upper division students;
  • A simulated class taught by one of our great professors, Kris Knaplund;
  • An introduction to our academic program;
  • An introduction to our faculty & student mentoring program — and the chance to meet individually assigned faculty & student mentors!
  • A panel with only upper division students (all the faculty/administration leave the room so students feel comfortable asking ALL questions!)  🙂
  • Our student organization fair; and
  • An introduction to our new preceptor program – another mentoring program that introduces our first year students to local, practicing lawyers and judges!

I’d better get started on this big day.  I will check in with all of you later on!

First Day of Orientation

I have been involved in several new student orientations here at the Pepperdine School of Law, but today marks the first time I have been in charge of the event.  It is possible that I am as excited (and nervous) as your students!

This year, Dean Tacha asked me to compress three full days of orientation into two.  Her request was based on student feedback, and I have attempted to streamline the process while still providing the thorough introduction that our past orientations have famously provided.  We’re about to see how that goes.

The first morning session is always my favorite.  It is so neat to see our faculty, deans, and directors arrive in business attire to be introduced to our new students.  Our founding dean, Ronald F. Phillips, will offer a prayer this morning.  Our current dean, Deanell Reece Tacha, will offer a welcome.  The president of Pepperdine University, Andrew K. Benton, will address the students.  I hope that this steady stream of impressive leaders will impress upon the students how glad we are that they are here while simultaneously providing them with an introduction to the noble profession to which they aspire.

There is much more on tap today:

* I get to share “The Pepperdine Story”

* Professor Grant Nelson will offer a “Welcome to the Legal Profession”

* My colleague, Carlton Oliver, and I will introduce “Student Life”

* A panel of professors will introduce the students to the idea of “professionalism”

* Dean Bohl will introduce the students to our impressive law library

* The students will get identification cards, campus tours, technology help, lockers, and free ice cream!!!

And tonight, for those that are interested, our famed Global Justice Program offers an evening panel and dinner.  Interestingly, the dinner is provided by the co-CEO of Chipotle Mexican Grill, who is a proud alum of the Pepperdine University School of Law (Class of 1993).

Oh, and our students will get their first assignment.  We will have a mock class Friday morning, and the students will have a case to read tonight – the first of many they will read!

It is early in the morning here in Malibu.  I am eagerly anticipating this special day.

Years from now, many of our nation’s leaders will think back and remember that their journey into the legal profession began this very day.  It is such an honor to be a part of it.

Welcome to the Pepperdine Family!

There is no denying that law school is a challenge.  It is challenging to law students (of course), but it is also challenging to those that love them!  The focus of this blog is on the friends and families of Pepperdine Law students.  My hope is to post something every weekday so that everyone can feel as if they are connected to what is going on here.

My name is Al Sturgeon, and I serve as Assistant Dean for Student Life at the Pepperdine University School of Law.  In this role, I have the honor of serving all of these amazing students!  Please feel free to contact me at any time.  In addition, feel free to leave a comment on any post on the blog.  I will reply to any of your comments, and further, you may strike up conversations with other family and friends all over the world!

Pepperdine Law is a special place because of its sense of community.  Your students are all valuable additions to this community, and I look forward to sharing this wonderful place with the rest of you through this blog.