Alumni Newsletter | February 2021
Our Community
The Zoom ceremony was another milestone gone virtual for the law school community. Clockwise from upper left: Jonathan Pai LL.M. '20, Blake Mollberg '19, Paymaneh Parhami '20, Alycia Tulloch '19, Taylor Magnuson '20, Jaidev Kalra LL.M. '19.

Berkeley Law’s Class of 2020 had already braved an unprecedented final semester, as classes, graduation, and even the California Bar Exam went online because of the ongoing pandemic. On Jan. 27, one more milestone happened via Zoom: More than 150 alumni were sworn in to the state bar and the bar of U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Living rooms and laptops replaced the traditional auditorium gathering and champagne toast. Read more>>

Even for students living in the Bay Area, in-person contact has been limited. Photo: Blaine Schmidt '23

In any other year, the members of Berkeley Law’s class of 2023 would have spent the fall months getting to know one another all over the school — chatting after class, huddling in the library, gathering in the sunshine over lattes at Café Zeb. Instead, they’ve navigated the academic and social sides of their 1L year largely digitally. Despite the hurdles, students say they’re building something special. Read more>>
What's New?
Four experts with Berkeley Law ties joined President Joe Biden's administration in the Office of White House Counsel and the U.S. Department of Energy. Caroline McKay ’20 is the new chief of staff to White House Counsel Dana Remus and deputy associate counsel. Funmi Olorunnipa Badejo ’07 is an associate counsel in the Office of White House Counsel. Narayan Subramanian, a former visiting research fellow at the law school’s Center for Law, Energy & the Environment, is headed to the Department of Energy as a legal advisor in the general counsel’s office. Jayni Hein' 08, the center's former executive director, was appointed to the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Read more>>

The Helen Diller Foundation announced a $10 million endowment gift to name the Helen Diller Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies (formerly Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies). The gift kicks off a year of celebration marking the 10-year anniversary of the Institute’s founding. Read more>>

With America’s bitter partisan divide on perpetual display in Washington, D.C., six Berkeley Law graduates, Robin Wetherill ’18, Dan Dwyer ’12, Brady Williams ’19, Christina Shackelford ’14, Jarad Brown ’13, and Vanessa Ing ’18, are enjoying a rare Beltway feat — working on issues supported by both sides of the aisle — at the Federal Trade Commission. They credit Berkeley Law’s public mission and consumer justice opportunities as key ingredients in their career recipe. Read more>>

Berkeley Law's new Center for Law and Work hosted a symposium on Reforming Policing Through Changing Labor Relations”. Experts from the legal, academic, and policy realms talked about the best way forward. Read more>>
Alumni News
LL.M. Alumni Admissions Recruitment
The Advanced Degree Program is seeking alumni volunteers to help them with LL.M. student recruitment. Graduates interested in volunteering for this effort should contact Erin Dineen, director of alumni engagement at

Interested in Hiring Our Students & Alums During These Challenging Times?
It's no surprise the pandemic has had an effect on our students’ summer and post-grad job prospects. The Career Development Office is looking to expand the number of job opportunities available to our students and alumni—specifically at law firms of all sizes and with in-house legal departments. If you would like to post a position, please fill out this google form.
Alumni Events
Alumni Town Hall with Dean Chemerinsky
Please join us on Wednesday, February 24 from 4:00pm – 5:00pm PT for a virtual Town Hall with Dean Erwin Chemerinsky. He will discuss his upcoming book Presumed Guilty: How the Supreme Court Empowered the Police and Subverted Civil Rights. Register here>>

Silicon Valley Alumni Chapter Event - Topic: General Counsel Insights
The Berkeley Law Silicon Valley Alumni Chapter will host a virtual discussion with alumni who serve as general counsels. The virtual event will take place on Thursday, February 25 from 12:00 - 1:00 pm PT. Panelists include chief legal officers David Estrada '93 (Nuro), Rashmi Garde '95 (Sophos), Brad Lewis '87 (Informatica), and Irene Liu '06 (Hopin). Register here>>

Berkeley Law DC Alumni Chapter Launch Event: The Year Ahead for America through a DC Lens
The new Washington, D.C. Alumni Chapter will host its inaugural event on Thursday, March 4, from 4:00 pm ET. Panelists include Rich Albores '92, attorney advisor in the Office of General Counsel's Solid Waste and Emergency Response Law Office, Funmi Olorunnipa Badejo '07, special assistant to the President and associate counsel in the White House Counsel's Office, Catherine Meza '05, senior counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., and Georgetown Law Professor Howard Shelanski '92, partner at Davis Polk. The discussion will focus on climate change, racial justice and civil rights, and the COVID-19 pandemic viewed through the eyes of DC insiders. After the panel, we will host a social networking session from 5:00-5:30 pm ET for those who wish to chat informally with other Berkeley Law DC alumni. Register here>>
Berkeley Law is partnering with the law schools at UC Irvine and Stanford on the 2021 Shakespeare Trial featuring Dean Erwin Chemerinsky and Bernadette Meyler, the Carl and Sheila Spaeth Professor of Law at Stanford University.

At the heart of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is the decision of Brutus to join the conspirators in the assassination of Julius Caesar. This man had been his friend and mentor, but his bold actions threatened to turn the Roman republic into a government ruled by a dictator, contrary to Rome’s constitutional history. What do you think Brutus should have done? Register here for the March 9, 5:00 pm PT event>>

Big Give
Big Give 2021, Cal's annual day of giving, will be held on March 11. We encourage you to
mark your calendars and make your gift that day to help the Law School reach our 2020-2021 fundraising goals. Stay tuned for more information.
Faculty Highlights
For nearly 15 years, Professor Chris Hoofnagle has helped Berkeley Law keep pace with the dizzying pace of technology advancements. Now, he’s providing students with a new and increasingly vital skill set. Computer Programming for Lawyers, one of eight new courses offered by Berkeley Law this semester, recognizes growing trends in the legal marketplace. Read more>>
President Joe Biden’s new administration has already outlined a long list of early priorities. With help from a science- and technology-focused think tank, Berkeley Law Professors Catherine Crump and Rebecca Wexler are pushing forward their policy ideas. Read more>>
Pregnancy and childbirth are much more dangerous for American Black women than their white counterparts. Yet the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act passed by Congress in 2018 completely ignores race. Professor Khiara M. Bridges digs into this “racial irony” in a paper that questions whether what she calls the “impoverished discourse” on the topic is creating similarly impoverished solutions. Published in: New York University Law Review. Read more>>
Media Highlights
Dean Erwin Chemerinsky examines how, under President Trump, Republicans reshaped the federal judiciary and how Democrats now have the chance to do the same. Read more>>
Lecturer Mallika Kaur interviews Clinical Professor Ty Alper, associate director of Death Penalty Clinic, about representing clients on death row, being hyper-aware of racial privilege, and training next generation lawyers. Read more>>
Ethan Elkind, director of the Climate Program at Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy & the Environment, urges U.S. and state policy makers to seize the opportunity to plan for a more sustainable, domestic electric vehicle supply chain. Read more>>
Judge Jeremy Fogel, executive director of the Berkeley Judicial Institute, discusses the increasing number of federal judges who are taking senior status. Read more>>
Professor Christopher Kutz reviews Michael Sandel’s The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good? and explains why a public, widely accessible merit-based system such as the University of California is our best hope. Read more>>
Visit the Media Highlights and News page to view recent headlines and news. And check out the latest issue of Berkeley Law's Transcript magazine.
Virtual Enrichment Programs
Review virtual program recordings on the alumni website. Three recent offerings include:

Professors Steven Davidoff Solomon, Frank Partnoy, and Robert Bartlett were among six Berkeley Center for Law and Business experts who recently explored the financial market controversy around GameStop, Robinhood, and short-selling. In a special Berkeley Boosts event, they discussed government regulation and interventions and assessed the saga’s broader implications. Watch the video here>>

Judge Wood presented “Walking the Walk: Herma Hill Kay, Diversity, and Inclusion” on February 3, in memory of Berkeley Law’s first woman dean. Watch the recording>>
Corporate Finance Fundamentals
Corporate Finance Fundamentals is an online certificate program for practicing attorneys and other non-financial professionals that focuses on how to apply financial information analysis and corporate valuation in a variety of corporate settings and throughout the legal practice. The next cohort begins on March 1 and we offer an alumni discountLearn more and register today>>

Leadership in the Legal Profession
4-6 pm PT|7-10 pm ET cohort is sold out. 7-9 am PT|4-6 pm CET cohort is filling quickly.
Leadership in the Legal Profession is a 10-week, online business school-style course for legal professionals who want to challenge intuitive approaches to leadership and management, as well as learn new mental models and dynamic leadership skills that can be quickly applied to their practice. Topics include systems thinking, behavioral science, motivation, agile innovation, and decision leadership, among others. The next cohorts begin in March and we offer an alumni discount. Learn more and apply today>>

Executive Summer Courses
Early bird pricing through March 15
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
Kate Mather '21
Hometown: Lawrence, Kansas
Education: University of Southern California
Affiliations: Managing Editor, California Law Review Vol. 109

I wanted to be a journalist ever since I was in middle school. I majored in journalism in undergrad, I did summer internships at different newspapers, and ultimately was hired by the Los Angeles Times after graduating, covering breaking news and crime. I loved the adrenaline rush that came with being a journalist. I thought I would do that for the rest of my life. Read more>>
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