Leading the Class
Three outstanding graduates of the Class of 2008
by Susan Vogel
photos by Charles Barry
What a Difference a Professor Makes: Scott Mangum '08
Six years ago, Scott Mangum was a community college student with a less-than-stellar high school academic record. On May 17 of this year, he received Santa Clara Law's Inez Mabie Award. Provided by the Mabie Family Foundation, the award is given to "the graduating student who best represents the type of student Santa Clara University School of Law is most proud to graduate by reason of demonstrated qualities of scholarship, community leadership, and a sense of professional responsibility."
You won't learn about this, or his other academic achievements, from Mangum, however. He understates his success, for instance, saying he graduated in the top 10 percent of his law school class (which is true, though it is also true that he was in the top two percent). He keeps his other honors equally at bay. You'll have to ask for his resume to learn that he received no fewer than 16 honors in law school, from being named editor-in-chief of the Law Review, to receiving eight CALI and Witkin awards for earning the top grade in his first-year classes. He won Best Brief and Best Oral Advocate awards in moot court competitions, won the Gerald E. Moore Moot Court Competition and Scholarship, and received the Emery Merit Scholarship (awarded for overall academic excellence) for all three years of law school.
While in high school in Danville, Mangum says he was interested mostly in sports and having fun. He spent two years at Diablo Valley College before transferring to UCLA. It was there that the spark of an interest in history burst into a full-on love, thanks to controversial professor, Mary Corey, whose cultural history courses challenged the conservative views he had been exposed to growing up. Mangum graduated from UCLA with a 4.0 GPA. Sticking with history for graduate school was a natural choice—his mother studied history extensively in college and his brother has a Ph.D. in the subject. But volunteering at the Western Law Center for Disability Rights showed him the power of the law. While helping people with cancer fight workplace discrimination, he saw "the law's capacity to effect positive social change and really help people on a personal level," he says.
Mangum credits his success in law school to two things: his history background, which gave him the ability to see the law in the context of public policy, not just as a bunch of rules to memorize, and the Santa Clara Law professors who made the law interesting. He credits Professor Philip Jimenez in particular for making the law fun and relevant as well as for piquing his interest in international law. With Jimenez's encouragement, Mangum, who had never been outside the U.S., competed for and won the Gerald E. Moore Scholarship, which paid for his summer program in Korea.
His exceptional grades "just kind of happened as a result of taking interest in what I was doing," he says. He does admit that his interest in the law might be better characterized as a passion. "I feel unique in the amount of enjoyment I get from the law," he says.
In spite of his success in honors moot court, Mangum insists he's "not wired for litigation," and will be joining the transactional department of the Boston firm of Ropes & Gray in its San Francisco office, working on matters relating to health care law, corporate governance and compliance, investment, mergers and acquisitions, international law, licensing agreements, and corporate structuring.
To students who haven't yet found something they love, Mangum advises "keep an open mind, read everything you can get your hands on, and think about how various subjects interrelate. By working or studying in one field, you can have a great impact on a multitude of areas." Most importantly, he adds, "I would tell students to find something that makes them happy, whether it be in academics or not."
Christopher Boscia, Kristin Love Boscia and Scott Mangum celebrate their graduation in May 2008.
A Man and a Woman for Others:
Kristin Love Boscia B.S. '03, J.D. '08
Maybe it was the sun. Maybe it was the fact that their team was winning. But as soon as the words were out of her mouth, she couldn't believe she said them. Kristin Love was sitting with her friend, Chris Boscia, watching the Cleveland Indians slam the Oakland A's. He had told her he had seriously considered becoming a priest.
"You can't," Love said. "Why not?" he asked. "Because I plan to marry you," she said. The moment she heard her words, she was mortified. "I was secretly in love with him. I knew I had to tell him of my feelings. I just hadn't planned to say it that way," she explains.
Her embarrassment was put to rest when, on the drive home, he seemed to have ignored what she had said. "Oh good," she thought. "He thinks I was kidding."
Love and Boscia had met a year earlier when Love, then a junior at SCU and the director of the Santa Clara Community Action Program, interviewed him for a job at SCU. The two clicked and they became close friends.
Love had come to SCU from Oregon three years earlier, intent on following her mother's advice to "find a job you love and you will never have to work." Driven by a desire to help others, Love initially thought that she would be a doctor, but her chemistry grades told her otherwise. When she learned SCU's economics courses had a social justice element, she changed her major and took classes such as Latin American Development and Women in Economic Development. She minored in religion. On grants from SCU, she spent two summers in El Salvador learning about the economic and political situation, especially for women.
After telling Boscia of her plans to marry him, Love, who speaks Spanish, joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Houston working as a legal caseworker with survivors of human trafficking, political persecution, and domestic violence. Her experience in Texas convinced her she wanted to become an immigration lawyer.
To avoid a heavy law school debt, Love and Boscia attended SCU's part-time program and worked full-time on campus. They both lived—separately— in undergraduate dorms as resident ministers, even after they married in September 2007. At times it was tough. "Our first year we would take turns deciding to quit school and then the other would talk us off the cliff," she says. "The good thing is that we were never going to quit at the same time." During law school, she worked at Starbucks, the Office of Undergraduate Studies, as a law clerk for an immigration lawyer, as a judicial intern, and for Bay Area Legal Aid. Love received the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Scholarship and a pro bono award, participated in honors moot court, and earned a certificate in Public Interest and Social Justice Law.
Mary Colleen Ryan
New Record for Class Gift
The class of 2008 raised a record amount for its class gift—$7,014. With law school funds, Dean Donald Polden matched the first $5000 raised by the students, bringing the total to $12,014. These funds will be combined with money raised by the class of 2007 to remodel the lobby area near the elevator next to the Heafey Law Library. When remodeled, the lobby will have new tables, chairs and couches, and present a first-class impression to law school visitors. Additional money from the successful fundraising drive will go to scholarships for law students.
"I was impressed by how many of my classmates participated in the class gift," said gift committee co-chair Kristin Love Boscia. "They were so approachable and generous."
Kristin's husband, Chris Boscia, was the committee co-chair. Another 21 students served on the gift committee.
The money was raised with contributions by 77 students (25 percent of the class), as well as by some law faculty.
More than 40 students contributed $50 or more, and will be recognized as Dean's Circle Associates, with an invitation to a special reception with Dean Polden and other law school donors.
—LARRY SOKOLOFF '92
When Love came to SCU in 1999, she had only a vague idea about what the Jesuits do. Through her experiences, she says, "My vision of serving others has really grown. The idea of being men and women for others has really changed my vision of public service. I am committed to doing work with people where I feel I'm making a difference."
As for her confession to Boscia, "It's so funny thinking back to it," she says. "I could have just graduated and moved away. I'm so fortunate that I told him how I felt."
Chris Boscia J.D. '08
Boscia was not prepared for Love's admission. They were just friends. "I was blown away," he says. "What guts! I just wanted to kiss her."
Later, Boscia told Love that he also had feelings for her…feelings strong enough to change the path he had been on for most of his life.
He might have become a priest. Boscia attended a Jesuit high school and had earned bachelor's and master's degrees in theology from Boston College. By the time he met Love, he had worked as a campus minister at Regis High School in New York and as a visiting fellow at the Center for Ignatian Spirituality at Boston College.
In 2002, he helped win a $2 million grant for SCU, resulting in his management of the DISCOVER program, helping students find their callings by drawing upon Renaissance concepts of vocation and Ignatian spiritual practice. (Boscia's minor in finance, encouraged by his father, paid off for SCU.)
After the baseball game, he and Love dated long distance for 16 months. Continental Airlines staff at the San Jose airport knew him by name. Encouraged by his mentor, the late Professor Bill Spohn, Boscia decided to apply to law school to pursue the career in teaching he had begun at Regis High School.
While attending Santa Clara Law's part-time program, Boscia worked for the DISCOVER program as a summer fellow at Sacred Heart Nativity School, and as executive assistant for the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice, headed by Professor Gerald Uelmen. Boscia was president of the Part-time Law Student Association and in 2006 was named Student Leader of the Year. This year, he received the Law School's Community Service Award and was named ALI-ABA Scholar and Leader for the Class of 2008, an award which is presented to the graduating student who best represents a "combination of scholarship and leadership, the qualities embodied by the American Law Institute and the American Bar Association."
Marriage has not changed Boscia's calling in life, only the direction it has taken. He says that his vocation was fixed thanks to "two simultaneous events." First, his family's switching from an "all crucifixtion, no resurrection" parish to "a diverse, inner-city parish where the Spirit was present in the people, in the preaching, in the singing, and in the works of service in which all members participated." Second, his entering St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland. "I simply fell in love with the vision of St. Ignatius and the Jesuits," he says. "Ignatius' calling was simple: to help others' souls. That was what I wanted to do with my life and what I still want to do with my life."
Inspired by his experience with the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice and by his mother's longtime public service (as president of Cleveland's City Council), he has taken a next step towards public service: application to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Kristin and Chris continue to give. Dean Polden invited them to co-chair the Class Gift Committee for 2008, which set a new record for graduating class gifts (see sidebar above).
2008 Commencement Highlights
Hon. Phyllis Hamilton '76,
When Phyllis Hamilton graduated from Santa Clara University's School of Law in 1976, 8.4 percent of all law school graduates in the United States were women. But when she addressed the graduating class of 2008 at its commencement ceremonies on May 17, women made up approximately 50 percent of the School of Law's graduates. And Hamilton herself had come far, addressing the class as U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of California. She was appointed to the federal bench by President Clinton in 2000, and has made national news for rulings on such controversial subjects as abortion and teaching about the Islamic religion in public schools.
At the ceremony, 302 J.D. degrees and 9 LL.M degrees were awarded. Of the J.D. degrees awarded to the 96th graduating class, 147 were awarded to women and 166 to students of color.
Krystal Lettenberger, Sara Beede, and Kelly Monroe enjoy the California sunshine at their outdoor commencement ceremony.
Hamilton drew on her own experience as a lawyer, and now as a judge, as she shared two pieces of advice with the graduates. "Strive to be the best person you can be," she said. She encouraged students to keep an open mind, adding, "Don't be afraid of change; change can be good."
She also talked about how the legal profession has changed since she graduated from law school. Technological innovation and advancements have introduced a new layer of skills that lawyers must possess in order to be successful. "Today is as exciting a time as ever to become a lawyer," she told the graduates. "The opportunities available to you are virtually limitless."
Bruce Shem and two of his
"Graduation was both a joyous and sad occasion," said graduate Nathaniel Lucey. "Joyous because I can now put my education to good use. Sad because I will be leaving SCU's students and professors."
"It was also a nice time to share my experience with family and friends, who may not entirely know how difficult it is to conquer the three years of law school," said classmate Scott Mangum. "The graduation gave them a little taste of the experience."
For a link to more commencement photos, visit law.scu.edu/alumni.
—LARRY SOKOLOFF '92