What excites you most about joining the UCI Law faculty?
Too many things excite me! To begin with, the opportunity to be a part of building a new law school seeking to provide a cutting-edge legal education was too unique and intriguing to pass up. This is coupled with the fact that I am surrounded by an all-star group of faculty. Moreover, as an empirical and multi-disciplinary legal scholar, I could not be happier working at UCI because the law school and the broader university are incredibly interdisciplinary and have numerous legal scholars and social scientists interested in studying law across multiple spectrums. Finally, UCI is my alma mater. I loved my experience at UCI as a student and now I have an opportunity to give back in a very meaningful way to the next generation of students.
Why did you go into law teaching?
I knew I wanted to become a professor during my first semester in law school. I love writing and working with people. More than any other profession, I think these two passions will be fulfilled as a law professor because I will have the opportunity to regularly do both.
Describe your scholarship.
My research addresses the intersection of law and organizations, focusing on how organizations both respond to and shape the meaning of law. I study how business organizations privatize consumer protection laws and what are the effects of this privatization in terms of procedural fairness and substantive justice for consumers. Thus, my research lies at the intersection of public law (courts, legislation, dispute resolution) and private law (business organizations, commercial law).
My most recent project explores how, in response to powerful consumer protection laws aimed at shifting risk and responsibility to automobile manufacturers to comply with laws, manufacturers shift risk back to consumers and society by collaborating with state agencies to create quasi-private dispute resolution forums. In doing so, private organizations essentially privatize public legal rights and shape the content and meaning of consumer warranty legislation, the nature of administrative regulation, and most importantly, the way in which consumer complaints are adjudicated.
Theoretically, I draw from studies in law, political science and sociology that focus on how organizations interact with their social and legal environments. By focusing on the relationship between law and society and using empirical methods, I hope my work will build, extend and refine existing studies concerning the relationship between law and organizations across multiple scholarly communities.
What is your teaching style?
My teaching style is guided by my own experiences as a student. I believe students care about what professors know, but students really care about whether professors actually “care.” I care and I will show that I care about students’ legal education by how I teach. Regardless of whether I’m teaching a large first-year course or a seminar, I will be prepared, engaged, accessible and supportive of students while also challenging students to think outside the box.
What would you like to accomplish at UCI Law?
I want to accomplish four things during my time at UCI Law. First, I want to be an advocate for students and a high-quality teacher. Second, I want to be a productive scholar. Third, consistent with the Founding Faculty’s vision, I want to help establish UCI Law as a top-flight law school, one grounded in an innovative educational curriculum and social justice. Fourth, I want to be a supportive and positive colleague to my faculty peers.