Alumni Newsletter | April 2021
Our Community
U.S. News & World Report law school rankings were published on March 31. Berkeley Law is ranked ninth overall and in the top 10 in 8 specialty ranking areas. The Dean stated "These rankings are a result of the enormous hard work of our faculty, staff, and students." Read more>>
Professor Betrall Ross received Berkeley Law's most prestigious award, the Rutter Award for Teaching Distinction.The award honors an instructor who inspires students and demonstrates a deep commitment to teaching. Read more about Ross's background and teaching here. Read more>>
What's New?
Professor Amanda L. Tyler interviewing U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at Berkeley Law in October 2019. Photo: Jim Block

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg looms large in Berkeley Law Professor Amanda L. Tyler’s life as a boss, a mentor, a role model — and, now, a co-author. Justice, Justice Thou Shalt Pursue: A Life’s Work Fighting for a More Perfect Union, which has been released to great fanfare, bloomed from Ginsburg’s ties to Tyler and another Berkeley Law icon, the late Professor Herma Hill KayRead more>>
Made almost entirely from clips created by newly admitted and current students, this year’s Admit Week Experience video celebrates the inspirations, challenges, and aspirations of the unabashedly authentic individuals who will make up the Class of 2024 and embody the excellence, community, and public mission that makes Berkeley Law… Berkeley Law. Watch the video here>>
The law library has released Black Americans and the Law, a timeline that shows how U.S. jurisprudence and law have impacted the lives of Black Americans for 400-plus years. The timeline highlights several key legal events and actions that have structured and systematized racism in the U.S. Librarians Kate Peck and Dean Rowan and 3L Randall Wilson led the project. Read more>>
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has appointed Berkeley Law Clinical Professor Jennifer Urban ’00 chair of the California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA). CPPA is charged with protecting the privacy rights of consumers over their personal information. Read more>>
Berkeley Law’s Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic prods California courts to remove copyright restrictions from the state’s jury instructions. Read more>>
Kelsey Peden ’21, Najia Humayun ’22, Christine Hulsizer ’21, and Simone Lieban Levine ’21 reap wide-ranging benefits from the unique Salzburg Cutler Fellow international law program. Read more>>
The spring issue of Transcript, Berkeley Law’s magazine, was recently mailed to alumni and friends. The cover story tracks the dogged work of clinic and center leaders who steered seven new bills that will help vulnerable Californians. Other stories feature our Center for Law and Work, racial justice efforts, a unique climate initiative, dynamic students, faculty scholarship, and inspiring alumni. Read it here>>
Alumni Events
Thursday, April 22, 12:00 – 1:00 pm PT
In this talk, Professor Khiara M. Bridges will describe the origins of critical race theory, explain its foundational commitments, and use it as a lens for understanding current events. This event will be open to all alumni and eligible for 1.0 Elimination of Bias credit. Register here>>

On Thursday, April 22, 12:50 pm PT, Hannah L. Buxbaum, Professor of Law and John E. Schiller Chair at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, will deliver the Irving Tragen Lecture on Comparative Law. Register here>>

On Thursday, April 29 from 12:50-2 pm PT, please join us for a virtual event to honor Professor Stephen Sugarman's contributions as a teacher, scholar, and policy entrepreneur. Register here>>

Dean Chemerinsky to Discuss “The Path Forward for American Democracy”
The dean will provide an update on the law school and then talk about the guardrails and fragility of our democracy, addressing the most immediate challenges and ways to strengthen our institutions going forward.
Los Angeles Alumni Chapter - Wednesday, May 5, 5:00 – 6:00 pm PT, Register here>>
Silicon Valley Alumni Chapter - Wednesday, May 12, 5:00 – 6:00 pm PT, Register here>>

San Francisco Alumni Chapter hosts a virtual CLE program: “Leadership for Lawyers”
Wednesday, May 19, 12:00 – 1:00 pm PT
Larry Center, founder of Center Leadership Coaching, will share a lifetime of leadership wisdom about the essence of leadership for lawyers. He will demonstrate that during this unprecedented era, leadership – doing the right things – is more important than management – doing things right. This program will be open to all alumni and eligible for 1.0 CLE credit. Thank you to Mark Mao ‘04 and Boies Schiller Flexner LLP for generously sponsoring this event. Register here>>
Faculty Highlights
Professor Abbye Atkinson recently testified before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee about credit, debt, and the widening racial and gender gap. Her testimony drew on some of her recent and upcoming research, including how Congress has encouraged debt among socioeconomically marginalized groups and how that debt burden causes wealth to flow out of disadvantaged communities. Read more>>
Professor john a. powell probes the legacy of the Supreme Court case Plessy v. Ferguson, which upheld racial segregation as constitutional in 1896 under the separate but equal doctrine, in a new Russell Sage Foundation Journal of Social Sciences issue on Plessy. powell co-edited the issue, and wrote an article for it exploring the structural racism in America’s legal system and efforts to untangle them. Read more>>
Each year, the Berkeley division of UC’s Academic Senate chooses two distinguished faculty members to give the prestigious Martin Meyerson Faculty Research Lecture. Berkeley Law Professor Franklin Zimring recently tackled a hot-button topic in delivering this year’s first lecture, “Police Killings: An American Tragedy.” Watch his presentation here>>
In a California Law Review paper, Assistant Professor Asad Rahim asserts that Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr.’s plurality opinion in the landmark 1978 Bakke affirmative action case was motivated more by fear of the further radicalization of college students than by the goal of greater equality. Rahim contests the idea that there were “two Powells” — the pre-court conservative and the left-leaning centrist jurist — and points to similarities in his statements from both eras. Read more>>
Media Highlights
Assistant Professor Jonathan Gould suggests filibuster reformers harness the Senate’s power over its own procedural rules to democratize the institution from within. Read more>>
Carolyn Patty Blum, clinical professor emerita and senior research fellow at the Human Rights Center, advises Vice President Harris to look in our own backyard if she wants to address root causes of Central America migration. Read more>>
Professor Orin Kerr explains the 4th Amendment issues with the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles seizing private property. Read LA Times article>> Read article on Yahoo>>
Professor Jonathan Simon discusses the prosecution’s strategy in the case against Derek Chauvin. Read more>>
Professor Robert Bartlett explains why one-size-fits-all relief programs might not be what small businesses need. Read LA Times article>> Read article on Yahoo>>
Dean Erwin Chemerinsky takes a look at Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L., the first Supreme Court case to address the ability of schools to impose discipline for speech out of school and over social media. Read more>>
Professor Catherine Crump, Director of the Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic, discusses the clinic’s work to stop the federal Bureau of Prisons from reading emails incarcerated persons send to their attorneys. Read more>>
Berkeley Law Faculty Experts Weigh in on Google vs. Oracle

Professor Peter Menell discusses the Supreme Court decision in Google vs. Oracle and says the ruling doesn’t necessarily mean software developed in Time magazine. Read more>>

In the Wall Street Journal, Professor Pamela Samuelson also explains why the this decision in is so important in today’s interoperable world. Read more>>
Ethan Elkind, Director of the Climate Program at Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy & the Environment, says President Biden’s infrastructure package is a lifeline to the CA bullet train but it will not be enough to deliver the whole project. Read more>>
Visit the Media Highlights and News page to view recent headlines and news.
Virtual Enrichment Programs
Dean Erwin Chemerinsky kept up his annual custom of presenting legal arguments at the heart of a Shakespeare classic. On March 9, he played the role of prosecutor, arguing that Brutus’ acts in Julius Caesar merited convictions for treason and murder. The online audience served as jurors during the event, with scenes performed by New Swan Shakespeare Festival actors. Watch it here>>
Google v. Oracle: An Initial Appraisal, April 20, 1:00 pm PT
On April 5, the Supreme Court handed down its much-anticipated decision in one of the most consequential copyright cases of our time, Google v. Oracle. In ruling that fair use permitted Google to incorporate elements of the Java API into its software for the Android phone, the Court clarified standards not only for fair use as applied to software but also arguably for other copyrighted works as well. Our assessment of this momentous decision will be led by Professors Peter Menell and Pamela Samuelson. CA MCLE credit will be provided. Register here>>
Women in Law, Policy, and Government, April 28, 10:00 am PT
In this one-hour webinar presented by the Women in Business Law Initiative at Berkeley Law, a panel of distinguished leaders will discuss policies and practices affecting women’s fair representation in the fields of law, policy, and government. Speakers include Ann Cleaveland, Executive Director of the Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity at the UC Berkeley School of Information, Catherine Fisk, Professor of Labor Law at Berkeley Law, and Janet Napolitano, former UC President, former Secretary of Homeland Security, and Professor of Public Policy at UC Berkeley.  Register here>>
*Discounted tuition available for Berkeley Law alumni.

General Counsel Institute | Going Beyond Legal
June 3, 10, 17, and 24 | Registration is now open
This multi-day, virtual program for in-house attorneys brings together a wide range of executives from the C-Suite and beyond to discuss how they work with, and are impacted by, in-house legal professionals. Sessions will include fireside chats between CEOs and their GCs, presentations by CFOs and CIOs, and talks by other leaders who will share their experiences working cross-functionally to achieve organizational goals. Learn more and register today>>

Sustainable Capitalism & ESG Online
Next class opens May 11 | Registration is now open
Sustainable Capitalism and ESG Online demonstrates how to incorporate environmental, social, and governance considerations into business and investment strategy through a combination of focused lectures and case studies, curated readings, and in-depth interviews with over 50 thought leaders. Learn more and register today>>

Executive Summer Courses
Seats are limited so we encourage you to apply early
Berkeley Law Executive Education offers lawyers the opportunity to participate in single courses in the areas of business law, technology, international and comparative law, and bar subjects, or a package of courses culminating in a certificate. Courses are three weeks in length and run during the professional track summer semester from mid-May through mid-August. Due to the continuing pandemic, all courses will be offered onlineLearn more and apply today>>
Student Spotlight
Education: Centre College, KY; Xavier University, OH; University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law (JD); United States ARMY
Zooming in from: O’ahu, Hawai’i

The X-Files was a huge part of my life when I was little. I wanted to grow up to be a hybrid of Scully and Mulder. I knew the FBI looks favorably on people who are veterans, so, I was like, “The Army will be perfect. That will help me get in and become Scully!” I found out later that’s not a real thing, but that was my dream until I went to Afghanistan. Read more>>