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Pepperdine Law Hosts Inaugural Board of Advisors Meeting

On October 13, 2018, Pepperdine Law hosted 38 alumni and friends who have recently joined the newly formed Board of Advisors ("BOA”), which replaces the Board of Visitors. The BOA is a hand-selected group of successful alumni and supporters who provide important counsel to the Dean, assist in recruiting outstanding prospective students, provide career opportunities for students and alumni, introduce leaders in the legal community to Pepperdine Law, and serve as goodwill ambassadors on a national and global level. BOA members further the law school's goals by contributing their personal and professional talents, contacts, and resources to the advancement of the law school.

The BOA meeting opened with a devotional on Psalm 46 from member Jack White (’03), as he encouraged the board to take a moment to be still in the hurried pace of life. Dean Paul Caron followed with an address on the current state of the law school that was followed by a question and answer session. After that, the BOA engaged in a thoughtful and spirited discussion on strategies for expanding the diversity of the law school’s faculty, staff, and students. The discussion included a panel composed of BOA members Carmen Cole (JD ’01), Will McBride (JD ’02), Thomas Fessler (JD ’83), and San Diego County Superior Court Judge Dwayne Moring (JD ’91), which was moderated by Associate Dean Naomi Goodno. Third-year student Yoori Chung also shared her journey as a diverse student.

The meeting ended with an extended acknowledgment of the numerous BOA members who have engaged deeply with the law school over the last year. Among those honored were Federal District Court Judges Jennifer Dorsey (District of Nevada) and Andre Birotte (Central District of California) for their numerous speaking engagements at the law school. Additionally, California Court of Appeals Presiding Justice Patricia (“Tricia”) Bigelow (JD ’86) (seeking re-election this year on the ballots in Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties) who was awarded the Distinguished Alumna of the Year at May’s graduation ceremony, was highlighted.

Others honored included:

  • Rick Caruso (JD ’83) and Rick Stack, who participated in key roles to secure funding for the law school’s recent renovation.
  • Charles Eskridge (JD ’90), who hosted a Houston alumni reception last fall.
  • Orange County Superior Court Judge Kate Knill JD (’88), who swore in graduates to the California bar in June 2018.
  • Virginia Milstead (JD ’04), Carmen Cole (JD ’01), Mark Hiepler (JD ’88), Judge Andre Birotte (‘91), and Judge Jennifer Dorsey (JD ’97), who were Launch Week speakers this year.
  • Texas Supreme Court Justice Jeff Boyd (JD ’91), who led the Sudreau Global Justice Program trip to Brazil this summer.
  • Vice Chancellors Ron Phillips and Janet Kerr (JD ’78) for their outstanding fundraising work.
  • Dave Sugden (JD ’01), who will serve as an adjunct professor this spring.
  • Steve DeLorenz (JD ’86), Will McBride (JD ’02), Zna Portlock Houston (JD ‘87), Thomas Fessler (JD ’83), Judge Jennifer Dorsey (JD ’97), Dave Sugden (JD ’01), Matt Henegar (JD ’99), and James Azadian (JD ’01), who called, met with, and e-mailed admitted students via the Alumni Admissions Ambassadors program.
  • Judge Andre Birotte (JD ’91), James Bohm (JD ’87), Justice Jeff Boyd (JD ’91), Judge Jennifer Dorsey (JD ’97), Mark Hiepler (JD ’88), Michelle Maryott (JD ’97), Darryl Towell (JD ’95), and Alex Wheeler (JD ’05), who hired Pepperdine Law alumni over the last year.
  • Justice Tricia Bigelow (JD ’86), Judge Andre Birotte (JD ’91), Justice Jeff Boyd (JD ’91), Judge James Di Cesare (JD ’73), and Alex Wheeler (JD ’05), who hired Pepperdine Law interns this past year.

We are grateful to all the new and veteran members of the board, and we look forward to the great things they will accomplish in the future.