UCI Law Executive Director of Community Programs Awarded California LAW Diversity Champion Award for 2022


Estuardo Ponciano

IRVINE, Calif., (Feb. 22, 2022) — The University of California, Irvine School (UCI Law) is delighted to announce Estuardo R. Ponciano, executive director of community programs for UCI Law has been awarded the California LAW Diversity Champion Award for 2022 by the board of directors of Cal Leadership-Access-Workforce (Cal LAW). The award is shared with Brenda Cortez-Martin of USC Gould School of Law, and Kelly Greer of LMU - Loyola Law School, partners in the creation of the outreach programs being recognized.

The Diversity Champion Award was established in 2016 by the board of directors of Cal LAW to recognize and award outstanding organizations for their efforts in supporting diversity, equity and inclusion within the law field. The Cal LAW mission is to establish a pipeline of diverse students from high schools, community colleges, four-year institutions and law schools into law or law-related careers so the legal profession reflects California’s diverse population.

Diversity Champion Award winners are recognized for “opening doors, removing systemic barriers that have been in place over the years,” said Alonso Garcia, special projects manager, equity and community impact. “Estuardo went above and beyond this past year to elevate diversity in the law field and provide engagement opportunities for our most vulnerable youths. He was critical in creating programs that would provide resources and help students navigate their way to law school.”

“Estuardo displayed exceptional leadership in moving the needle in DEI work as evident from the numerous seminars, workshops and engagement opportunities with other community members. He was tireless in his commitment to executing and supporting the Pathway to Law curriculum for community college and high school students.”

Ponciano credits the success of the Pathways to Law Program to the support from the UCI Law admissions staff, faculty members, law students and alumni. Many UCI Law community members have engaged with the program by serving as panelists at boot camps, webinars and townhall meetings.

“We have demonstrated as a community that this program is a resource and conduit to assist students who may not have the opportunity to take the traditional path to law schools. I appreciate that UCI Law’s efforts to reach this population of students is being recognized and will place a bigger spotlight on students that often fall through the cracks.”

About California Leadership-Access-Workforce

California Leadership-Access-Workforce (Cal LAW) was established in 2015 under the leadership of the State Bar of California’s Council on Access and Fairness (COAF), and with support from the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), to provide a clear educational pipeline for diverse students from high schools, community colleges and four-year institutions into law schools or law-related careers. In support of this goal, Cal LAW provides the foundational structure that connects, communicates, collaborates and coordinates the programs essential to the educational pipeline for the students we serve.

About the University of California, Irvine School of Law

The University of California, Irvine School of Law is a visionary law school that provides an innovative and comprehensive curriculum, prioritizes public service, and demonstrates a commitment to diversity within the legal profession. UCI Law students have completed more than 125,000 hours of pro bono work since 2009. Forty-seven percent of UCI Law’s J.D. graduates are people of color. At UCI Law, we are driven to improve our local, national, and global communities by grappling with important issues as scholars, as practitioners, and as teachers who are preparing the next generation of leaders. The collaborative and interdisciplinary community at UCI Law includes extraordinary students, world-renowned faculty, dedicated staff, engaged alumni and enthusiastic supporters. More information on UCI Law is available here. Please follow us on Twitter @UCILaw and Facebook @UCIrvineLaw. 

Media Contact:

Stephanie Wilner
Communications | PR Manager