did you agree to lead the University of California, Irvine School of Law faculty?
I believe that we have the chance to create the ideal law school. I am very excited to work with faculty, administrators and students to design a law school that provides the best education for students, the best in legal scholarship and the best service to the community and the profession.
Why did you go to
I was inspired to go to law school by the civil rights lawyers of the 1950s and 1960s and how they transformed society. I continue to believe that law is the most powerful tool for social change.
Why did you go into
law teaching? What is your teaching style?
Being a law professor is my dream job. I love it as much today as when I began 30 years ago. The best part of my job is teaching. My teaching style emphasizes clarity in organizing and presenting material, preparing students for law practice, challenging them to think through hard questions and being as nurturing as I can.
Describe your scholarship
and a favorite pro bono or service project.
I have written seven books—casebooks, treatises, monographs—and nearly 200 law review articles. Of all the things I have done professionally, the most important was my two years serving as chair of the elected Los Angeles Charter Reform Commission. I was elected by voters to a commission to draft a new city charter (which is like the constitution for the city), which was adopted by the voters in 1999. I also have regularly argued appellate cases, both criminal and civil—virtually always pro bono—in the Supreme Court, federal courts of appeals and state supreme courts.
What are you most
excited about doing in the first years of the law school?
Everything! I am excited about the process of recruiting faculty, administrators and students. I am excited about devising a law school curriculum for the 21st century. I am excited to be part of creating our dream law school.