Recently, I had the opportunity to represent California Western at graduate and law school fairs throughout Northern California. Of course, given the average Californian’s affinity for abbreviating words, most would simply say I went to NorCal. Fair enough. From the Golden Gate Bridge to the East Bay, and from the Napa vineyards to Sacramento – NorCal is rich and diverse.
When I heard the cable car conductors rhythmically clang-clang-clanging their bells (thank you Judy Garland), and I smelled the salty (and slightly fishy) air from the Wharf, I knew I had arrived at my first destination – San Francisco! What a great city! Over two days, I visited the University of San Francisco and San Francisco State University. At each event, I spoke with some very interesting students. Whether through environmental law or international human rights law, many students shared the common goal of making a positive impact on the world. In a city where so many people supposedly leave their heart (thank you, Tony Bennet), meeting these students was a heartening experience.
Talking to so many students that wanted to make a difference reminded me of the several clinics and institutes at California Western. There is, of course, the California Innocence Project, which is a clinical program dedicated to freeing the wrongly convicted and that has, in fact, freed eight wrongly convicted men. With a more international flair, Proyecto ACCESO – an arm of the Center for Creative Problem Solving – is a program dedicated to establishing the rule of law in the Americas. Beyond the clinics and institutes, California Western also has a strong international law program, spearheaded by international human-rights experts like Associate Dean William J. Aceves.
As you might imagine, then, it was easy for me to interact with those passionate, motivated, and idealistic students in NorCal. In fact, I was happy – and perhaps somewhat proud – to talk about California Western, to talk about what California Western has to offer. Indeed, talking to these students reminded me strongly of the interactions I had with my colleagues and professors when I myself was a student.
Needless to say, NorCal was a success.