University of California, Irvine School of Law

UCI Law News April 2016

A quarterly newsletter to keep members of the UCI Law community connected

In This Issue

A Note from Erwin

Dear Friends,

Since UCI Law’s doors opened in 2009, our community together has achieved many milestones and celebrated countless successes. Earlier this year, we reached another notable landmark — UC Irvine School of Law’s induction into the Association of American Law Schools.

Schools must be accredited by the American Bar Association one year before they can be considered for AALS membership, which meant we entered the rigorous review process in 2015. On Jan. 7, 2016, during the AALS Annual Meeting in New York City, the Association’s executive committee welcomed UCI Law with great enthusiasm, and commended our school’s strong academic record and commitment to diversity and scholarship. “In a very short period of time,” said AALS President Blake D. Morant, UCI Law “has contributed so much to legal education and continues to produce outstanding legal professionals.” The Daily Journal has more on this wonderful achievement.

As you may have heard, in only our second year of eligibility to be ranked by U.S. News & World Report, UCI Law moved to No. 28 of the approximately 200 law schools in the United States. Additionally we ranked No. 13 for Clinical Training, No. 23 for Legal Writing and No. 25 for our Intellectual Property Law program. The Law School also scored among the Top 12 in student diversity, according to the U.S. News Diversity Index.

More good news: We earned an A+ and ranked fourth, just behind Yale, in The National Jurist’s 2016 list of Best Schools for Practical Training. The rankings are based on experiential learning opportunities offered by U.S. law schools, with the most weight placed on top-notch clinical experience.

In focusing on these external measures, I never want us to lose sight of all that makes us truly different and special. As illustrated in our newly published viewbook, we have amazing students who work tirelessly to create a wonderful community. Our faculty are not only terrific scholars, but great classroom teachers. I believe that without question, we have the best administrators and staff of any law school in the country. We have created a law school deeply committed to public service and experiential learning.

Our successes would not be possible without the incredible support we receive from so many people. This was especially evident at Admitted Students Weekend on April 1 and 2, when the Law School community came together to welcome prospective members of the UCI Law class of 2019. In so many ways, students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends all play a crucial role in advancing the Law School and in ensuring that we continue to foster innovation, collegiality and excellence.

Warm regards,

Admitted Students Weekend

First Year PanelCrystal CoveAlumni at ASWUCI Law Tour GroupThis year’s Admitted Students Weekend (ASW), held April 1 and 2 on the UC Irvine campus and at Crystal Cove State Park, provided plenty of opportunities for admitted students and their guests to meet current students, alumni, faculty, staff and supporters of UCI Law. Nearly 200 visitors spent two days getting acquainted with the Law School's people and programs. ASW highlights included the annual Judge Stephen Reinhardt and Ramona Ripston Lecture on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, featuring Judy Clarke, who presented “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants.” Student panels touched on UCI Law’s robust Pro Bono Program and provided tips on how to navigate the first year of law school. A career development panel offered student and alumni perspectives on how UCI Law prepares students for summer and post-graduate employment, including judicial clerkships. Several faculty members also provided brief talks about their scholarship, with topics ranging from international law to clinics and practical training. Thirty-five student organizations hosted an involvement fair in the courtyard. The weekend concluded with a beachside reception at Crystal Cove State Park, just steps away from the ocean. Photos from ASW 2016 are available on Flickr.

Dedicated Supporters

LogosUCI Law proudly announces the formation of an Intellectual Property & High Technology Consortium, made possible by the generosity of our founding partners: Fish & Tsang LLP; Hankin Patent Law; Haynes and Boone, LLP; Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP; and O’Melveny & Myers LLP. The IP Consortium seeks to increase UCI Law’s enrollment of students with degrees in engineering, science and computer science — and ultimately expand the number of highly qualified associates in IP and patent law. “Through scholarships and outreach efforts made possible by the IP Consortium, UCI Law can recruit and retain exceptional students, and train them to be effective intellectual property, trademark, copyright and patent attorneys,” said Janice Austin, UCI Law Assistant Dean for Admissions & Student Financial Services.

Tech Competition

This year’s UCI Technology & Entrepreneurship Competition was sponsored by Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, one of the nation’s leading intellectual property law firms. Dr. Hans Keirstead, Chief Executive Officer of AiVita Biomedical, served as the competition’s technical advisor and keynote speaker. The 2016 competition brought together graduate students from the Ayala School of Biological Sciences, Paul Merage School of Business and UCI Law. Each interdisciplinary team had five hours to negotiate the best business deal involving a case study for a new and exciting stem cell technology. The problem was designed to give each team member an important role in structuring the deal. UCI Law students, for example, were responsible for resolving legal issues connected to intellectual property rights, indemnification, representations and warranties, and confidentiality. Pictures from the daylong competition are available on Flickr.

Public Service Medal

SAVE THE DATE: The 2016 Public Service Award Dinner will take place Friday, May 6, at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach. This year’s honoree, Ambassador Carlos R. Moreno, is a distinguished jurist, advocate and public servant whose illustrious career exemplifies public service. Appointed as Ambassador to Belize by President Obama in 2014, he has served as an Associate Justice on the California Supreme Court; a United States District Judge; a Superior Court Judge and a Municipal Court Judge. For information about PSA sponsorship opportunities, please contact Marina Harrison at (949) 824-2921 or

Stellar Students

Moot Court WinnersUC Irvine School of Law on Feb. 1 presented the final round of its 2015-2016 Experian / Jones Day Moot Court Competition. Before a panel of three federal appellate judges — Hon. Morgan Christen, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Hon. Jennifer Walker Elrod, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and Hon. Patricia Ann Millett, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit — students Brett Long ’17 and Jiaxiao Zhang ’17 argued a case concerning whether Wisconsin can require individuals to show a photo ID in order to vote. Long won the Best Oral Argument award. Best Brief went to Sara Banco ’17 and Remick Stahl ’17. A video of the final argument is available on YouTube; visit Flickr for event photos.

Mock Trial Winners

The spring 2016 Ballard Spahr LLP Mock Trial competition, which featured a criminal murder case, concluded March 16. The team of Nick James ’16 and Stephanie Johnson ’16 won first place; second place went to Alex Ackel ’16 and Peter Ludlam ’17. U.S. District Court Judge Josephine Staton presided over the trial. Ackel received the Best Advocate Award; Ludlam was awarded Best Cross-Examination. Johnson and Kellye Ng-McCullough ’16 tied for Best Opening Statement.

Jessup Participants

UCI Law students also participated in the world’s largest moot court competition. The team of Amy Lieberman ’17, Zoe McKinney ’16, Brittany Ngo ’17, Shirley Kim ’16 and Sanjana Rishi ’17 — advised by Professors Christopher Whytock and Beatrice Ticeadvanced to the Pacific Region quarterfinal round of the Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court Competition and received special recognition for their brief.

Ricardo Lopez

Ricardo Lopez ’16 is the latest UCI Law recipient of the Orange County Hispanic Bar Association’s Wally Davis Scholarship, awarded to law students who have demonstrated involvement in the Latino community. Lopez is just one of many UCI Law students recognized this academic year with prestigious scholarships and awards. A roundup of recent student honors includes Aaron J. Benmark ’16, who received the Paul Miller Scholarship Award from the Los Angeles Copyright Society; Bree Oswald ’16, who was awarded a Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Bar Association Scholarship; and Boanerges Rodriguez ’17, selected as a summer 2016 Employee Justice Fellow by the Foundation for Advocacy Inclusion and Resources. Also recognized for their exceptional work are Appellate Litigation Clinic students Ronald Park ’16 and Emily Cross ’16, lauded by Ninth Circuit judges for “high-quality representation” of their client.

IRAP Students

Alex McIntosh ’17, Shireen Ashtari ’17 and Ali Chabot ’17 in January spent a week in Beirut, Lebanon, as part of an International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) pro bono trip to assist refugees seeking resettlement. The students experienced first-hand all facets of the refugee crisis, including the hardships faced by refugees, the challenges lawyers have in helping them, the governmental agency point of view, and the international dilemma in solving a wide range of problems.

Enriching Our Community

Prof. SolomonWith the assistance of students from UCI Law’s Community & Economic Development Clinic (CED), Shady Lane Mobilehome Park, home to nearly 40 migrant farmworkers and their families, will receive $250,000 in grant funding for safe drinking water and a functioning sewer system. As one of six projects the California Department of Water Resources selected to fund in the Coachella Valley region, the Shady Lane Water and Sewer Connection Project will use the grant money directly toward connecting the park to the City of Coachella’s water and sewer systems — the most reliable long-term solution to resolve the park’s severe public health issues. The CED Clinic, co-directed by Profs. Bob Solomon (pictured) and Carrie Hempel, has represented the park’s residents since 2011, when the park’s owner issued a closure notice and threatened to evict all the tenants. In 2012, the CED Clinic and the California Rural Legal Assistance jointly filed a complaint on behalf of the residents asserting several causes of action, including unlawful closure of a mobile home park, illegal collection of rent and failure to maintain common areas. This litigation reached legal settlement in September 2015; since then, the CED Clinic has been working to obtain a conditional use permit to legally operate the park and secure sufficient funds to purchase, repair and rehabilitate the park. Southern California Public Radio has more details on the grant and on UCI Law’s long-term work with Shady Lane residents.

Pro Bono Hours

Thanks to an extraordinary 92 percent participation rate in UCI Law’s Pro Bono Program, students to date have provided more than 50,000 pro bono hours since the Law School opened in 2009. “Providing volunteer legal services to underserved communities and causes has played a significant role in forming our culture of public service,” said Anna Davis, director of public interest programs. Among the dozens of pro bono projects available to students is the Workers’ Rights Clinic administered by the Legal Aid Society–Employment Law Center, recently spotlighted by the Daily Journal in a feature story about lawyers mentoring students. Through this project — Orange County’s first full-range employment law clinic for low-income workers — student volunteers conduct client intake interviews and tackle a wide range of issues, including harassment, unemployment benefits and wrongful termination.

Alumni Notes

Mary Ann SodenMeet UCI Law’s new Director of Alumni Relations: Mary Ann Soden. An experienced nonprofit executive, and an attorney, she previously served as Chief Community Programs Officer for the Orangewood Foundation in Santa Ana, where she led their public-private partnerships for health and human services. She holds a J.D. from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law;  an M.Sc. in Public Administration and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science; and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to practicing law, she worked with Price Waterhouse and American Express Bank. Mary Ann can be reached at or 949-824-9079.  

Jean Su and studentsOn April 6 Jean Su ’12, a staff attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity’s strategic litigation group, spoke about her work with the Center, as part of the Law School’s Guest Speaker Series. Su co-founded the Environmental Law Society student organization at UCI Law. She is pictured here (center) with current ELS leaders Jordan Liebman ’17 and Olivia Weber ’17.

Jennifer Steeve and Jeffrey WachsAlumni Mixer UCI Law graduates took part in the Law School's annual Admitted Students Weekend by helping to welcome prospective students at the involvement fair on campus and the closing reception at Crystal Cove. Jennifer Steeve ’15 and Jeffrey Wachs ’12, pictured left, spoke as part of an ASW panel on career development. Several alumni — including Akhil Sheth ’13 and Angel Camino ’13, pictured right with Negah Daily ’18 — also took time to network with current students at an April 4 Alumni & Student Mixer co-hosted by the Alumni Association and the Student Bar Association.

Faculty News

UCI Law Talks logo

UCI Law Talks podcast series, highlighted in the Orange County Register story “Podcast offers UC Irvine law professors’ insights,” continues this spring with timely topics. The latest episodes include:

Carrie Menkel-MeadowProf. Carrie Menkel-Meadow (pictured) received an honorary doctorate from KU Leuven in Belgium; a video highlighting excerpts of her public lecture is available on YouTube. Prof. Jack Lerner, UCI Law’s Intellectual Property, Arts, and Technology (IPAT) Clinic, and co-counsel from Donaldson & Callif LLP won a 2016 California Lawyer of the Year (CLAY) Award for their work on behalf of filmmakers and authors; a story about their efforts to secure exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act appears in the Daily Journal. Prof. Alejandro Camacho’s article “Going the Way of the Dodo” was named by the Environmental Law & Policy Annual Review as one of this year’s best. UCI has been awarded a $100,000 grant by the Ford Foundation to support the work of Prof. David Kaye, the United Nations special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression and director of UCI Law’s International Justice Clinic. Prof. Benjamin van Rooij is now co-editor of Regulation and Governance. He will receive the inaugural John and Vivian Sabel Award for the best article in The Journal of Contemporary China — “The People vs. Pollution: Understanding Citizen Action Against Pollution in China” — on May 4, at a ceremony hosted by the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. Dean Erwin Chemerinsky received this year’s Hon. Francisco P. Briseño Lifetime Achievement Award from the Orange County Hispanic Bar Association and was named among the most influential by National Jurist, Orange County Register and Coast Magazine. Prof. Bryant Garth also continues to rank among the top Most Influential in Legal Education. On March 30, Prof. Kenneth Simons presented his Chancellor’s Professor Lecture on “Assumption of Risk and Consent in the Twenty-First Century.” Prof. Rick Hasen’s new book, “Plutocrats United: Campaign Money, the Supreme Court, and the Distortion of American Elections,” has been receiving rave reviews since its January release; a video of his book talk, with commentary by Dean Chemerinsky, is available on YouTube. Directed by Prof. Olufunmilayo Arewa, the Center for African Business, Law & Entrepreneurship this spring hosted “Creativity, Innovation, and Legal Reform in Africa,” which brought together participants from both the Nigerian and Los Angeles film and television industries. Prof. Michele Goodwin organized a Congressional Briefing on Women, Girls and Mass Incarceration in Washington, D.C., and the Baby Markets 10th Anniversary International Congress. Prof. Stephen Lee organized the 2016 Food Equity Symposium, co-sponsored by the UC Global Food Initiative. Prof. Dan Burk delivered the 18th CEIPI-BETA Workshop, “Property Rules, Liability Rules, and the Public Interest in Patent Remedies,” at the University of Strasbourg; he also gave a public lecture on “Exhaustion of Rights in Digital Objects” at the Queen Mary University of London Centre for Commercial Law Studies Seminar. Prof. Kaaryn Gustafson delivered a keynote speech at the "Poverty Law: Academic Activism" conference hosted by Seattle University School of Law and the annual James A. Thomas Lecture at Yale Law School. Prof. Annie Lai spoke at the 14th Annual Impact Fund Class Action Conference in San Francisco, as part of a panel on “Success Stories from the Frontlines of Social Change.” Prof. Song Richardson presented “How Defenders Can Address Implicit Racial Bias” at the Defender Initiative Sixth Annual Conference on Public Defense held at Seattle University School of Law. Prof. Ann Southworth was a featured speaker at the Public Interest Lawyering in the U.S. and Beyond event held at Indiana University. Prof. Jane Stoever presented her article “Mirandizing Family Justice Centers” at the Journal of Law and Gender Author Talk at Harvard Law School. Prof. Mario Barnes gave the keynote address at Washington and Lee University School of Law’s “Policing in America” symposium; he also spoke on “Policing As If All Lives Matter” as part of The Forum at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Prof. David Min moderated a panel on money markets as part of Vanderbilt Law School’s “Financial Regulation since the Crisis” conference. According to a recent study on "Who's Who in Introductory Psychology Textbooks," Prof. Elizabeth Loftus is No. 14 and the top-ranking woman among the world's most cited psychologists.

In This Issue


April 11, 2016:
Tax Law and Policy Colloquium, "Alpha: Labor is the New Capital," featuring Victor Fleischer

April 14, 2016:
Initiative to End Family Violence Survivor Series, featuring Leslie Morgan Steiner

April 22, 2016:
Why the Arctic Matters, presented by Hon. Fran Ulmer

May 5, 2016:
"Plutocrats United" book talk by Prof. Rick Hasen, UC Washington Center

May 6, 2016:
Public Service Award Dinner, honoring Ambassador Carlos R. Moreno

May 7, 2016:
UCI Law Commencement Ceremony

May 13, 2016:
UCI Long US-China Institute Annual Conference, "Poor China, Rich China: Poverty, Wealth, and Inequality"

July 14, 2016:
6th Annual Supreme Court Term in Review