Fall 2008 Law Briefs
Welcome Class of 2011
In August, Santa Clara Law welcomed the class of 2011. The entering class of 233 full-time students and 77 part-time students was chosen from more than 4,000 applicants from all 50 states and 55 foreign countries. Santa Clara Law continued its trend of being among the most diverse law schools in the nation, with 45 percent of new students identifying themselves as members of a minority group. The entering class comes from 29 states (with the top five being California, Washington, New York, Illinois, and Virginia) and several foreign countries (including Canada, China, Germany, and Korea).
Events for the new students included a special convocation ceremony during which students took an oath of professionalism. New students also received encouraging words in addresses from several alumni leaders, including the Honorable Eugene Hyman '77, judge, Santa Clara County Superior Court, and recent recipient of the U.N. Award for Public Service for the work of juvenile domestic violence and family violence court (see Page 29); Rolanda Pierre Dixon '80, Santa Clara County Assistant District Attorney and founder of the county's Domestic Violence Unit; Mary Alexander, '82, principal, Mary Alexander and Associates and past president, Association of Trial Lawyers of America; and the Honorable Zoe Lofgren '75, member of Congress, representing San Jose and Silicon Valley in Washington since 1994.
During orientation, new students took a moment to gather in the gorgeous California sun and look skyward for a big group photo.
Spring 2008 Speakers
A number of distinguished speakers visited the School of Law during the Spring semester.
Roger Clay was the spring Social Justice Visiting Practitioner. He presented "Social Justice Law: Housing Law and Community Economic Development" on April 7. He is president of the Insight Center for Community Economic Development in Oakland, and an attorney and licensed social worker. The Insight Center works with other groups to develop, support, and promote programs that lead to good jobs, strengthen early care and education systems, and enable people and communities to build financial assets.
Angela J. Davis presented "Arbitrary Justice: The Power of the American Prosecutor" on March 13. She is a professor of law at American University College of Law in Washington, D.C.. Professor Davis is an expert in criminal law and procedure who focuses on racism in the criminal justice system and prosecutorial power. She previously served as director of the D.C. Public Defender Service, where she began as a staff attorney representing indigent clients. She also served as executive director of the National Rainbow Coalition.
Laura Gomez presented "Manifest Destinies: The Making of the Mexican American Race," on Feb. 21. She is Professor of Law and American Studies at the University of New Mexico. Previously she taught for 12 years at the UCLA School of Law. She has written two books, "Manifest Destinies: The Making of the Mexican American Race," and "Misconceiving Mothers: Legislators, Prosecutors and the Politics of Prenatal Drug Exposure".
Allen Ruby was the Distinguished Advocate on April 1. He presented "Is It a Profession or a Business?," and also participated in other events, including a career retrospective. Ruby has been an attorney in San Jose since 1970. He was named Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association in 1999. He is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. His current clients include Facebook, which he is representing in a contract dispute, and baseball star Barry Bonds, accused of making false statements to a grand jury.
Santa Clara Law and its Northern California Innocence Project honor Frank Quattrone
Awards Dinner Raises $1M for Innocence
Frank Quattrone, NCIP Advisory Board Chair and 2008 Justice for All Award Recipient
From left, Victoria Matthews and Jessica Jerving were two of the NCIP students who attended the conference.
National Innocence Conference at SCU
Santa Clara Law and the NCIP hosted the international Innocence Network Conference March 28-30, which was attended by more than 350 people involved in innocence work from around the world. The three-day conference included 32 workshops, plenary sessions, and roundtables on three tracks designed to serve exonerees, practitioners doing innocence work, and those setting up and operating innocence projects. NCIP staff and faculty Linda Starr, Cookie Ridolfi, and Mary Likins presented at several workshops and participated in plenary events and roundtables.
From left, Victoria Matthews and Jessica Jerving were two of the NCIP students who attended the conference.
Exoneration: Armando Ortiz
In June, the Northern California Innocence Project obtained the exoneration of Armando Ortiz, who was convicted of a double homicide when he was 16 years old. After NCIP students and staff demonstrated that his trial attorney was ineffective in failing to investigate and present the testimony of nine alibi witnesses, in November the trial court reversed his conviction and in June, after verifying NCIP's evidence, the District Attorney dropped all charges and apologized for the injustice.
Starting a class at five o'clock on a Friday afternoon at the School of Law is not usually a good idea. But one such class meeting is actually proving popular, and has a long wait list. Maybe it's because the class includes a trip to Tokyo at the end of the semester, and a chance to practice international business negotiations with Japanese law students.
Eight students take International Business Negotiations at Santa Clara Law, working with four Japanese law students at Omiya University near Tokyo. The Japanese students have to go the extra mile for the class: they must be proficient in English, and videoconference with Santa Clara students on Saturday mornings at 10 a.m.
"Our team is representing a fictional Silicon Valley company, Santa Clara Nanotech, Inc., holding several cutting edge nano-tech patents," explained Santa Clara Law Professor Phil Jimenez, who teaches the class. "We propose to license that technology to a Japanese company, also fictional, modeled on Sharp Electronics, a company with world-wide distribution."
At a Shimbashi restaurant, Santa Clara Law Professor Phil Jimenez (far left) celebrates the new, international learning opportunity with Professor Larry Repeta (far right, standing) and the group of students from Santa Clara Law and Omiya University.
The class starts with students learning about law and licensing and doing business in Japan. The Santa Clara students then start interacting with their Japanese colleagues, through the submission and exchange of documents including a letter of intent, a confidentiality agreement, and a proposed licensing agreement. Several hours of Friday afternoon videoconferencing follow.
The classmates learn how to work as a team and learn important skills for lawyering.
"Students do their own research, draft their own documents, develop positions and strategies, and critique performance as a real team," said Jimenez. "They gain new insight and perspectives on the resolution of the many issues— legal, commercial, linguistic, and cultural —involved in these transactions. They become more flexible, innovative, and realistic lawyers."
The semester ends with a trip in January to Tokyo where the students have a final face-to-face negotiation session, attend lectures on the Japanese legal system and culture, and make visits to legal institutions. The trip is financed by alumnus Gerald Moore '97 (for more information, see Santa Clara Law, Fall '07).
"The trip to Japan was a bonus to the practical experience I got from the class itself," said Nathaniel Lucey '08. "Professor Jimenez' class gave me a chance to draft an actual contract. The negotiation part of the class introduced me to the art of compromise and the need to respect the cultural differences of the opposing side."
This is the first year the class was offered. Jimenez says he and Omiya Professor Larry Repeta conceived of the course and collaborated for a couple of years to coordinate all the details.
For more information about Santa Clara Law's extensive international opportunities, including summer abroad programs in more countries than any other U.S. law school, visit law.scu.edu/international.
How Alumni Can Help Prepare Santa Clara Law Students for the Job Market
Dean Donald Polden (standing) was moderator of the Legal Practice Leadership Roundtable, which featured Santa Clara Law alumni who are in managerial positions in their firms, including (left to right, seated) Mark Pitchford ‘84, Cooley Godward & Kronish LLP; Rod Strickland ‘92, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati LLP; and Andrew Valentine ‘92, DLAPiper LLP.
If you read the news or the legal blogs, then you know that the economic climate has become challenging for everyone—including attorneys. Some law firms have conducted layoffs, shortened the length of their summer associate programs, or delayed the start dates for new associates. In anticipation of a more competitive hiring climate, Santa Clara Law's Career Services Office has undertaken several initiatives to help students to successfully conduct a legal job search—even in a downturn—and you can help.
In addition to regularly scheduled programming, the office has placed an even higher priority on outreach to alumni in order to provide students with employers' perspectives and to connect them with members of the legal community. For instance, this past spring, the office hosted a Legal Practice Leadership roundtable moderated by Dean Polden. The Roundtable featured Santa Clara Law alumni who are in managerial positions within their firms. Participating attorneys included Dennis Brown '86, managing shareholder San Jose office, Littler Mendelson; Kathryn Meier '84, managing shareholder/president, Hoge Fenton Jones & Appel, Inc.; Mark Pitchford '84, chief operating officer, Cooley Godward & Kronish; Rod Strickland '92, co-chair, associate hiring committee, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati; and Andrew Valentine '92, managing partner East Palo Alto office, DLAPiper. By sharing their insights, the panel members helped our students consider how they could shape their own academic and extracurricular activities to develop the qualities employers are seeking in candidates and to gain skills and habits that would help them to become excellent attorneys.
As a follow-up to this discussion, Law Career Services staff members spent the summer months meeting with alumni throughout the Bay Area. With the beginning of a new academic year, the Law Career Services staff has developed a fall programming calendar that builds upon the advice of our alumni. Initiatives include more alumni panels designed to educate students about the state of the current legal job market and to help them develop skills to create their own job search strategies. Additionally, the staff is creating or redesigning existing career fairs and networking events, such as its Mock Interview Program, Public Interest Career Fair, Diversity Gala, Speed Networking, and Law Career Day, in order to connect students with alumni who work for a wide array of employers.
We encourage you to become an advisor and mentor to a student by participating in one of our programs. For more information about Law Career Services programming and methods to become involved, please visit our Web site at law.scu.edu/careers/.