Alumni Highlight: Chris Lawrence '21, Associate at Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP

photo of Chris Lawrence

Chris joined the Navy in August 2003 and volunteered for submarine duty. For the next 15 years he completed three submarine tours onboard USS Texas, USS Charlotte, USS Jefferson City. He also served on the staff of Submarine Squadron One as the Reactor Control Assistant, and a tour at Naval Nuclear Power Training Unit Ballston Spa as an instructor. In 2018, only ten days before starting law school, he separated from active duty and transitioned into the Navy Reserves where he currently drills with LCS Squadron One in San Diego.

How did UCI Law prepare you for your legal practice?

UCI provided the academic foundation I needed to be successful outside of the classroom. For example, in my practice I still refer to my notes from my California law and motion class when preparing a new motion. I always felt that I would leave UCI with the skills I needed to begin a successful legal practice.

2. What do you like best about your work?

I like the opportunities to learn. Each case has a thread of the routine. But an opportunity to learn is inevitably scattered throughout each case. Whether a new area of law, or a business field I am unfamiliar with, each new case presents many opportunities to learn. By gaining a level of mastery in these new areas I add value for the partners I assist and the clients we ultimately serve.

3. What was the best part about being a student at UCI Law?

I know it sounds cliché but I really enjoyed building friendships with my classmates. The first year of law school is very difficult. The friendships I built really helped make my time at UCI Law an overall great experience.

4. How do you stay involved with the UCI Law community?

I make an effort every couple of months to grab coffee or a meal with some UCI friends. We often try to bring a current UCI student or two along. I also volunteer to serve as judges for events like moot court or the Lawyering Skills oral arguments.