The Women of 50 For 50: Jen Spaziano (JD '95)
"The Pepperdine Law scholarship I received changed the trajectory of my life, allowing me to pursue law school, on the west coast, at the most beautiful campus in the country, without adding to my already substantial student debt."
Pepperdine Caruso Law alumna Jen Spaziano (JD '95) chaired the Washington, DC litigation group of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, where she also served on the firm's Policy, Hiring, and Pro Bono Committees. A civil litigator, Jen specialized in the areas of securities litigation, False Claims Act litigation, and actions brought under the Alien Tort Statute, the Torture Victim Protection Act, and the Anti-Terrorism Act. She was named as one of Benchmark Litigation's Top 250 Women in Litigation from 2016 through her retirement in 2020. Since retiring from the practice of law, Jen has remained active in training and mentoring young and aspiring lawyers, including by serving as a Pepperdine Caruso Law preceptor and moot court judge. She is also supporting the humane education programs at the Humane Rescue Alliance and Animal Rescue Rhode Island.
What inspired you to become a partner in the 50 For 50 initiative?
The Pepperdine Law scholarship I received changed the trajectory of my life, allowing me to pursue law school, on the west coast, at the most beautiful campus in the country, without adding to my already substantial student debt. As the recipient of such a gift, I welcomed the opportunity to help someone else in the same way.
How would you like to see the 50 For 50 scholarships make a difference for students, and particularly for women?
I hope the 50 For 50 scholarships make law school a comfortable reality for deserving students, that they are used to further broaden Pepperdine Caruso Law's reach, and that they allow Pepperdine Caruso Law to continue its march up the law school rankings for the benefit of all students and alumni.
What were your experiences or challenges as a female law student?
My law school experiences and challenges were not much different from those of my male classmates. Law school is a challenging time for everyone. Remembering that can help all students find their voices, speak up, and be heard.
What kind of special or meaningful support or encouragement did you receive along the way?
The fact that my experiences as a female law student were no different from those of my male classmates itself was meaningful support and encouragement. With no one questioning my ability to succeed, I did not doubt it myself.
How has Pepperdine Caruso Law factored into your success?
I learned a lot. Core legal principles, analytical thinking, research, writing, oral advocacy, negotiation, mediation, and so much more. As soon as I started practicing law, I began applying the skills I developed at Pepperdine Caruso Law and I continued to build on that strong foundation over the next 25 years.
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. The Surf Report is featuring the female founding partners of the 50 For 50 campaign and what it means to them to support this special initiative.
Learn more about the 50 For 50 Scholarship Campaign.