The Women of 50 For 50: Christa (Zofcin) Workman ('97, MBA '00, JD '01)
The Pepperdine Caruso Law 50 For 50 Scholarship Campaign raises funds in order to alleviate the burden of student debt and to reinforce Pepperdine's place among America's leading law schools. Many of the campaign's founding partners are women, which reflects a nationwide increase of women in philanthropy. In the coming months, the Surf Report will feature the female founding partners of the 50 For 50 campaign and what it means to them to support this special initiative.
"Outstanding academics aside, my Pepperdine family has been a lifeline. Our network runs broad and deep, and bears much fruit."
Christa (Zofcin) Workman is the Co-President and Chief Operating Officer of River Road Entertainment. In her role, Workman oversees company-wide business operations and deal making, the structuring of all phases of corporate and legal affairs, with involvement in strategic partnerships, worldwide distribution, development, production, financing and management of the company's intellectual property including music. She is responsible for and works closely with the CEO and the Co-President on strategy implementation and business development, and plays an instrumental role in the greenlight process.
Workman is a multiple Pepperdine alumna, having received her JD, MBA, BA (Economics) and BS (Business Administration) degrees, each with honors, from the University. She has remained involved with Pepperdine as a founding executive board member of the Institute for Entertainment, Media, Sports and Culture, a preceptor for Caruso Law's first-year mentoring program, and she recently became a University Board Member.
What inspired you to become a partner in the 50 For 50 initiative?
Pepperdine has given so much to me that I'm honored when I can contribute to and partner with this family that's blessed me. This initiative speaks personally to me, given that when I graduated, I held the record for the highest debt load in my class. My husband and I are excited to be part of the work God is doing with this extraordinary institution.
How would you like to see the 50 For 50 scholarships make a difference for students, and particularly for women?
It can be summed up with one word - opportunity. There are so many smart, dynamic students who would thrive at Pepperdine, who would be forever changed, who would otherwise not be able to participate in and join with Pepperdine in all that it has to offer. 50 For 50 allows us to cast a wider net.
What were your experiences or challenges as a female during or going into law school?
I received resistance from a strong influence in my life who was less accustomed to higher education and tried to dissuade me from law school. The rationale was that it was too expensive, and I'd never be able to pay off the loans; I should get a job rather than go into debt. The implication was that I would get married, have kids and not have a career. My mother gave me the counter advice that regardless if I ever worked a day in my life, I would never regret this legal background and education, as it would be used everywhere in life. Needless to say, she was unequivocally right.
What kind of special or meaningful support or encouragement did you receive along the way?
Along with my mother's encouragement, my grandpa was a huge inspiration for me. He began his career with the Judge Advocate Generals Corps (JAG) and finished as Superior Court Judge in Northern California. He was a kind, honorable, brilliant, hilarious and loving man. I remember as a little girl going into his judge's chambers, watching him do his magic on the bench, and desiring in that moment that I wanted to become a judge (but circumvent the law firm precursor – I was too young to know it doesn't work like that). We always had a special connection. He was able to swear me in on our last Christmas together. I know he's smiling down on me.
Also, Pepperdine's professors are exceptional. My amazing Corporations professor, Janet Kerr, brought to life the law. She blew us away with her teaching and contagious passion, and then she drew us into her heart. Her radiance, love and support for me catapulted my growth at the law school, which expanded into a lasting bond that I cherish to this day.
How has Pepperdine Caruso Law factored into your success?
Rumor or not, I had heard of shenanigans taking place at other law schools, where the competition is so intense that the law library books get hidden or stolen. Pepperdine was not that, and instead instilled and cemented values of integrity and service through love.
Outstanding academics aside, my Pepperdine family has been a lifeline. Our network runs broad and deep, and bears much fruit. I have stories I can't tell without tears of gratitude. I've called friends—even acquaintances—from Pepperdine, who I may not have spoken to in many years, to ask for legal advice outside of my bailiwick. They've bent over backwards to help, oftentimes, burning resources and long hours of their own time, with expectations of nothing in exchange. This community has been, and I pray will always be, full of God's love, and it calls me up to attempt to be more like Him.
Learn more about the 50 For 50 Scholarship Campaign.