Community Fellows

No question is too big or small. Community Fellows can offer perspective on class preparation, outlining, exam preparation, job search, co-curricular activities, social life in Orange County and life/work balance. The Community Fellows will also host a variety of small gatherings and large events to connect first-year students with the larger campus community.


  • Image of Nefi Acosta

    Nefi Acosta

    (Class of 2016)
    Hometown: Provo, UT
    Alma Mater: Utah Valley University
    Professional Interests:  Immigration law, IP law, corporate litigation, public policy, Latino advocacy
    Hobbies: Salsa dancing, snowboarding, the outdoors, working on cars, reading (for fun), and basketball
    Co-Curricular:  Latina/o Law Students Association, Street Law, Saturday Academy of Law

  • Image of Jordan Aiken

    Jordan Aiken

    (Class of 2016)
    Hometown:
    Pasadena, CA
    Alma Mater:
    UC Berkeley
    Work Experience:
    New Orleans Women's Shelter; The Louisiana Civil Justice Center; started and ran Ayla - a queer Jewish non-profit
    Professional Interests:
      Community organizing, transgender law & policy
    Hobbies:
    Painting, calligraphy, time banking
    Co-Curricular:
      Orange County Human rights Association, Women's Law Society, OutLaw, Public Interest Law Fund

  • Image of Emile Ayoub

    Emile Ayoub

    (Class of 2016)
    Hometown:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Alma Mater: UCLA
    Professional Interests: Mediation, business litigation and transaction
    Hobbies: Basketball (NBA and college), college football, TV, music/concerts, traveling
    Co-Curricular: Student Bar Association, Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project, Street Law

    ·         Hometown: Denver, CO

    ·         Alma Mater: Kenyon College

    ·         Work Experience:  Worked for law firms in Washington, DC for two years

    ·         Professional Interests:  Financial Services Regulation, Antitrust, Civil Rights, Immigration, and Workers’ Rights

    ·         Hobbies:  interior design, drawing, skiing, movies, and really good food

    ·         Co-Curricular:  SBA Faculty Appointments Committee, American Constitution Society, WLS, Worker’s Rights Clinic, PILF, Research Fellow

  • Image of Jamila Benkato

    Jamila Benkato

    (Class of 2016)
    Hometown:
    Houston, TX
    Alma Mater:
    Southern Methodist University, B.A.; UC Santa Barbara, M.A. in Global & International Studies
    Professional Interests:
    Civil rights, race and the law, critical identity theories, mass incarceration, education rights
    Hobbies:
    Road tripping, hiking, camping, potlucks, and drinking copious amounts of tea
    Co-Curricular: Student Bar Association Chair (2014-2015), FRCP 12(f)Motion to Strike intramural soccer, Admissions Ambassador, Perspectives reading group, various pro bono projects

  • Image of Jessica Brostek

    Jessica Brostek

    (Class of 2016)
    Hometown:
    Costa Mesa, CA
    Alma Mater: UC Berkeley
    Professional Interests:
    Government, business litigation, civil litigation
    Hobbies: Cal athletics, Los Angeles Lakers, running, yoga, hiking, art history, food, Paris
    Co-Curricular:
    Student Bar Association Vice-Chairperson of External Relations, Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project, A New Way of Life Expungement Clinic, Trial Advocacy Club, Admissions Ambassador

  • Image of Sam Cretcher

    Sam Cretcher

    (Class of 2016)
    Hometown:
    Morgan Hill, CA
    Alma Mater:
    UC Irvine
    Professional Interests: Indigent defense, public interest law
    Hobbies: Concerts, movies, fitness
    Co-Curricular:
    Student Bar Association, Orange County Human Rights Association
  • Image of Emily Cross

    Emily Cross

    (Class of 2016)
    Hometown:
    Glendive, Montana
    Alma Mater:
    University of Montana
    Professional Interests: Appellate litigation
    Hobbies:
    Trivia, dancing, hiking, reading, listening to/making music, cooking, having super-nerdy philosophical discussions
    Co-Curricular: Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project, Election Law Society, Global Justice Summit, Saturday Academy of Law, CARES, Permanency Applications for Victims of Crime

  • Image of Natalie Diaz

    Natalie Diaz

    (Class of 2016)
    Hometown:
    Hemet, CA
    Alma Mater: UCLA
    Professional Interests: Art law, public interest
    Hobbies: Reading about graffiti art, reading blogs, watching YouTube, traveling, donuts, and hanging out with my dog Eevee
    Co-Curricular: 2L Student Bar Association Rep, Veterans Advocacy Society, Public Interest Law Fund
  • Image of Claire-Lise Kutlay

    Claire-Lise Kutlay

    (Class of 2015)
    Hometown:
    Nigeria and Canada
    Alma Mater: University of Victoria
    Work Experience: Taught Health and Safety in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
    Professional Interests: Estate planning, corporate law
    Hobbies: Coffee, baking, board games, traveling, dancing, belting out Spice Girls at karaoke
    Co-Curricular: Vagina Monologues, Women's Law Society
  • Image of Mandy Luper

    Mandy Luper

    (Class of 2016)
    Hometown:
    Temecula, CA
    Alma Mater: UCLA
    Professional Interests: Civil litigation - appellate, government, or international
    Hobbies: Playing soccer, hiking, baking, and reading!
    Co-Curricular: Motion to Strike intramural soccer team, Women's Law Society, Trial Advocacy Group
  • Image of Morgan Mcombe

    Morgan Mcombe

    (Class of 2016)
    Hometown:
    Martinez, CA
    Alma Mater:
    San Francisco State University
    Work Experience:
    United States Marine Corps
    Professional Interests:
    Business law
    Hobbies: Science fiction, backpacking, and baseball
    Co-Curricular: President of the Veteran's Advocacy Society

  • Image of Micah Morris

    Micah Morris

    (Class of 2016)
    Hometown:
    Fairfax, VA and the SF Bay Area
    Work Experience: Taught high school for the past 10 years in the Bay Area
    Professional Interests: Public law (specifically including government/administrative, education, employment, immigration and constitutional)
    Hobbies: Crossfit, cooking and home-canning, gardening
    Co-Curricular: Street Law, Student Bar Association Faculty Appointment Committee, OutLaw, Black Law Students Association
  • Image of Michael Olson

    Michael Olson

    (Class of 2016)
    Hometown:
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Alma Mater: UCLA
    Professional Interests: Criminal law, corporate law
    Hobbies: Los Angeles Clippers, playing basketball, craft beer, dance music, board games
    Co-Curricular: Criminal Law Society, Law Students for a Sensible Drug Policy, Public Interest Law Fund
  • Image of Aglaia Ovtchinnikova

    Aglaia Ovtchinnikova

    (Class of 2016)
    Hometown:
    Worcester, MA
    Alma Mater: George Washington University
    Hobbies: Tennis, hiking around Orange County, discovering new music, jokes, and board games
    Co-Curricular: Women's Law Society, Criminal Law Society, Admissions Ambassador
  • Image of Hayley Penan

    Hayley Penan

    (Class of 2016)
    Hometown:
    Corona del Mar, CA
    Alma Mater: UC Berkeley
    Work Experience: Lonely Planet Publications and the Legal Aid Society of Orange County
    Professional Interests: Litigation
    Hobbies: Skiing, singing/music, yoga, art
    Co-Curricular: Vice President of Law Students for a Sensible Drug Policy, Managing Editor of The Notice, pro bono
  • Image of Ariela Rutkin-Becker

    Ariela Rutkin-Becker

    (Class of 2016)
    Hometown:
    Great Neck, NY
    Alma Mater: Cornell University
    Work Experience: DC Teaching Fellows, Special Education; AmeriCorps VISTA, Inter Tribal Sports
    Professional Interests: Gender, law and sexuality; criminal law and drug policies; prison reform and constructs; international human rights law
    Hobbies:  The New York Yankees, running, backpacking, Nutella
    Co-Curricular:  Students for Sensible Drug Policy, National Lawyers Guild, Women's Law Society
  • Image of Tara Schonhoff

    Tara Schonhoff

    (Class of 2016)
    Hometown:
    Tennessee
    Professional Interests: Policy and law, election law
    Hobbies:  running, crossword puzzles, political dramas
    Co-Curricular: Election Law Society, International Law Society
  • Image of Nancy Sotomayor

    Nancy Sotomayor

    (Class of 2016)
    Hometown:
    Costa Mesa,CA
    Alma Mater: UC Irvine
    Professional Interests: Criminal law, immigration law
    Hobbies:  Music!  Going to live concerts/music festivals, wine tasting, traveling, camping
    Co-Curricular:  Student Bar Association, Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project, American Constitution Society, Women's Law Society, Admissions Ambassador, Latina/o Law Student Association
  • Image of Tanya Taylor

    Tanya Taylor

    (Class of 2016)
    Hometown:
    Buena Park, CA
    Alma Mater: UC Irvine
    Hobbies:  Soccer, naps, drawing, wine
    Co-Curricular:  Black Law Students Association, Entertainment Law Society
  • Image of Ryan Tikker

    Ryan Tikker

    (Class of 2016)
    Hometown:
    Manhattan Beach, CA
    Alma Mater: UCLA
    Professional Interests: Litigation, bankruptcy, criminal law
    Hobbies:  Skimboarding, skateboarding, N64 games, basketball, zombie movies
    Co-Curricular:  Studying in the Newport Library, UCI IM basketball
  • Image of Lauren Wong

    Lauren Wong

    (Class of 2016)
    Hometown:
    Pleasanton, CA
    Alma Mater: UC San Diego
    Work Experience: Laboratory Technician at Cortical Systems and Behavior Laboratory at UCSD
    Professional Interests: Corporate law, criminal law, intellectual property
    Hobbies:  Photography, baking, shopping, craft beer, tennis, going to the beach
    Co-Curricular:  Pro bono, Street Law, Domestic Violence Declarations, Re-entry Expungement
  • Image of Francis Yao

    Francis Yao

    (Class of 2016)
    Hometown:
    San Jose, CA
    Alma Mater: UC Davis
    Professional Interests: Intellectual property, immigration, energy
    Hobbies:  Trying new eateries, getting adequate sleep, co-op jigsaw puzzles
    Co-Curricular:  Student Bar Association 1L Rep, 100+ hours of Pro Bono, OutLaw, Asian Pacific American Law Student Association