UCI Law Welcomes Largest J.D. Class and New LL.M. Class


IRVINE, Calif., August 21, 2017 — The University of California, Irvine School of Law, under the direction of Interim Dean L. Song Richardson, is pleased to welcome the largest incoming J.D. class in the school's history, the first class of LL.M. students, and new faculty members. UCI Law is also launching two additional clinics and three new centers. 

“I am honored by this opportunity to lead UCI Law as its interim dean," Richardson said. "Through our collective leadership, we have created an extraordinary law school that fosters innovation and promotes excellence in legal education. I am confident the incoming students, new faculty, and other additions to the law school will continue to build upon our illustrious legacy as we start an exciting new chapter in our storied history."

About L. Song Richardson

An award-winning teacher and scholar, Richardson assumed the role of interim dean on July 1, 2017. A member of the UCI Law faculty since 2014, with a joint appointment in Criminology, Law and Society, Richardson served as Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2015 until her appointment as interim dean. Richardson earned a J.D. from Yale Law School and her A.B. from Harvard University. Richardson focuses her scholarship and teaching on criminal procedure, criminal law, and law and social science. Her article titled, Police Efficiency and the Fourth Amendment was selected as a “Must Read” by the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys. Two of her most recent works were published in the Yale Law Journal. Recently, she contributed to a major report, authored by leading scholars in criminal law and other disciplines, which outlines necessary criminal justice reforms and offers policy recommendations to achieve these reforms. A leading expert on implicit bias, Richardson is frequently invited to speak to law firms, district attorney and public defender offices, police departments, universities, judges, bar associations, and private industry across the nation about the science of implicit bias and its influence on decisions, perceptions, and judgments. Richardson lead UCI Law’s participation, in collaboration with New York University and UCLA, in obtaining public input related to the Los Angeles Police Department’s body-worn camera policy. Richardson is a member of the American Law Institute. 

The Class of 2020

On the first day of instruction for the 2017-18 academic year, the Class of 2020 consisted of 160 students, our largest J.D. class in school history. Together, they hail from 18 states, speak 12 languages, are veterans of three branches of the military, and graduated from 71 undergraduate colleges. Additionally, 61 percent of the class is female, and 46 percent self-identified as an ethnic minority.

First LL.M. Class

This fall we also welcome our first class of 12 Master of Laws (LL.M.) students. Collectively they hail from four continents and nine countries. The LL.M. degree program offers a first-rate legal education to lawyers, judges, government officials and others wishing to become educated about the legal system and practice of law in the United States.

New Law Clinics

Two new clinics - the Cyber Victims Defense Clinic and the Startup and Small Business Clinic - are launching this fall, bringing the total number of clinics available to students to 15. Students participating in the Cyber Victims Defense Clinic will focus on cybersecurity and privacy laws and how these laws have evolved in the modern era. Students in the Startup and Small Business Clinic will provide access to legal information and in some instances, representation, for entrepreneurs and small business owners. UCI Law both requires and offers in-house clinical experiences for every student, which is rare compared to other law schools. UCI Law's clinical program is ranked No. 15 in the 2018 edition of the U.S. News & World Report ranking of best law schools.

New UCI Law Centers

UCI Law is also proud to host three new centers: the Center for Legal Philosophy; the Competition, Antitrust Law, and Innovation Forum (CALIF); and the UCI Cybersecurity Policy & Research Institute. The centers feature leading experts in the respective areas of law, and will provide in-depth, focused research, events and multidisciplinary scholarship.

New Faculty

We also welcome three new, full-time professors to the law school. UCI Law faculty, which recently ranked No. 6 in faculty scholarly impact, is comprised of 47 full-time professors. The new professors are:

Alexandra Natapoff
Professor of Law

Prof. Natapoff is a scholar of criminal law and procedure. Her current work focuses on misdemeanors and their powerful influence over the criminal system as a whole. Her scholarship has won numerous awards, including a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship, the 2013 Law and Society Association Article Prize, and two Outstanding Scholarship Awards from the AALS Criminal Justice Section. Her original work on criminal informants has made her a nationally-recognized expert: her book Snitching won the 2010 ABA Silver Gavel Award Honorable Mention for Books. Prof. Natapoff is a member of the American Law Institute; in 2015 she was appointed as an Adviser to the ALI Policing Project. She has helped draft legislation at both the state and federal levels and is quoted frequently by major media outlets. Prof. Natapoff previously served as an Assistant Federal Public Defender in Baltimore, and was the recipient of an Open Society Institute Community Fellowship. She clerked for the Honorable David S. Tatel, U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia, and for the Honorable Paul L. Friedman, U.S. District Court, Washington, D.C. Prof. Natapoff earned a J.D. from Stanford Law School and a B.A. in philosophy from Yale University. She joins UCI Law from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, where she was a Professor of Law & Rains Senior Research Fellow, Associate Dean for Research, and Co-Director of the school's Clemency Project.

Emily Taylor Poppe
Assistant Professor of Law

Prof. Taylor Poppe is an interdisciplinary empirical scholar whose research is broadly focused on individuals’ engagement with the legal system, the structure and work of the legal profession, and the relationship between social inequality and the development of law. Her research has appeared in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies and Law & Society Review, among other journals. Prof. Taylor Poppe holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Cornell University, a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law, and A.B. degrees in Public Policy and Spanish from Duke University. Before entering academia, she worked as an associate in the Private Client Department of McDermott Will & Emery LLP in Chicago and as Associate Director of Planned Giving for the Harvard Business School in Boston. She joins UCI Law from Cornell University, where she was a visiting assistant professor for Cornell Law School and the Department of Sociology. Click here for a high-res image of Prof. Taylor Poppe

Dalié Jiménez
Professor of Law
Will begin at UCI Law in July 2018

Prof. Jiménez’s scholarly work focuses on contracts, bankruptcy and consumer financial distress, the regulation of financial products and its intersection with consumer protection, and access to justice. Prof. Jiménez uses qualitative and quantitative empirical methods to explore the questions of how individuals cope with financial distress, how and whether our legal framework and institutions help or hinder individuals extricate themselves from this distress, and the role of the legal profession in helping individuals with this and other civil legal problems. Prof. Jiménez spent a year as part of the founding staff of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau where she worked on debt collection, debt relief, credit reporting, and student loan issues. Prior to her academic career, she clerked for the Honorable Juan R. Torruella of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, was a litigation associate at Ropes & Gray, LLP in Boston, and worked on consumer protection issues at the Massachusetts State Senate. She holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and two B.S. degrees - in electrical engineering and computer science, and political science - from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prof. Jiménez will join UCI Law in July 2018 from the University of Connecticut School of Law, where she was an associate professor of law and Jeremy Bentham Scholar. Click here for a high-res image of Prof. Jiménez

About UC Irvine School of Law

Ranked No. 6 overall in the National Jurist 2017 list of Best Schools for Practical Training, UCI Law is a visionary law school focused on training talented and passionate lawyers and driven by professional excellence, intellectual rigor, and a commitment to enrich our communities through public service. UCI Law is a collegial environment, and our faculty comprises accomplished, nationally ranked thought leaders from around the country with a broad range of expertise. In the 2015 study by University of St. Thomas School of Law, the UCI Law faculty ranked No. 6 in the nation in scholarly impact. More about UCI Law is available here.

Media Contacts

Colleen Taricani
Assistant Dean for Communications
Phone: (949) 824-3063
Email address: ctaricani@law.uci.edu

Ryne Hodkowski
Public Relations Manager
Phone: (949) 824-0385
Email address: rhodkowski@law.uci.edu