What excites you most about joining the UCI Law faculty?
What excites me most about UCI Law is its unique commitment to teaching and service. It's one thing for a law school to talk about the importance of classroom instruction. It's another thing altogether to build a faculty from the ground up, as UCI Law has, around a shared passion for teaching.
Similarly, paying lip service to the role of public service in the law school curriculum is easy. UCI Law, however, not only offers clinical service opportunities to its students, it ensures all its students actually participate. I love that.
Why did you go into law teaching? What is your teaching style?
I started teaching after a life-altering volunteer experience. My last year as a corporate litigator, I volunteered to teach college-level writing to inner-city high school students. It blew me away. Connecting with students and helping them pursue life goals really inspired me. Teaching's been my vocation ever since.
My courses primarily are about solving problems. Would this client best benefit from a quick settlement, or a shot at summary judgment? What tactics should we employ in this transactional negotiation? What's the best way to defuse this unhelpful authority? How can we shift the focus of this oral argument to our opponent's worst facts? I make extensive use of case files and in-class exercises/simulations to hone students' abilities to pinpoint and analyze problems, whatever the area of law.
Describe your scholarship, or a favorite pro bono or service project.
My most recent project aims to raise awareness about a largely unrecognized government enforcement failure. In The Collection Gap: Underenforcement of Corporate and White Collar Fines and Penalties, 29 Yale L. & Pol’y Rev. 453, my co-author Martin Pritikin and I sought to describe the degree to which regulators actually follow through on enforcing corporate and white-collar fines and penalties. What we found was that even well-financed corporate offenders never pay the vast brunt of regulatory and criminal fines imposed against them, leaving billions of dollars uncollected.
Inspired to continue the conversation about enforcement failures — not just with scholars, but journalists, businesspeople, and government officials — my co-author and I recently launched thecollectiongap.com, a blog about regulatory breakdowns.