What excites you most about joining the UCI Law faculty?
The UCI commitment to experiential and interdisciplinary learning is inspiring. Everyone knows that legal education is at a critical stage, but few schools are willing to address the problems of an academy that is increasingly isolated from the profession. UCI is committed to eliminating that gap, while retaining the highest standards of scholarship and valuing practice. I am excited to be a part of that effort.
Why did you go into law teaching? What is your teaching style?
As a legal services attorney, I found that law students were an incredible, but under-utilized, resource in providing legal services to under-served communities. The more responsibility I gave students, the more impressed I was with their accomplishments. Clinical teaching was the next logical step to expanding that vision of representing clients. As a teacher, I try to treat students as colleagues in our client representation. I am much more likely to ask a question than to give an answer.
Describe your scholarship, or a favorite pro bono or service project.
My favorite work revolves around partnering with community-based clients, who are excited about improving their community, but need technical resources to accomplish their goals. Over the years, I have represented faith-based and neighborhood groups, farmers' markets, tenant organizations, and even governmental entities. I find it remarkably rewarding to be part of a team that strives together, sometimes for years, to reach a goal. It is particularly exciting when the group achieves what others called impossible.
What inspired you to go to law school?
I started law school in 1969. I thought the law offered an opportunity to bring about great social change. I still believe that. I consider myself lucky to be a lawyer - it is a profession in which we get to make choices every day, from the work we do to the ethical code we follow. We get to understand what it means to accomplish a client's objective, but also what it means to fail, but try again.