A Message from your California LAW Pathways Advisory Board Chair
Seasons Greetings to all our Pathway Partners. This has been a very challenging year for us all. You have all done an incredible job teaching your students and keeping them engaged during these difficult times. With the distribution of the vaccine, this week should be the beginning of life for all of us returning to some semblance of normalcy.
CaliforniaLAW has been moving forward in 2020 making improvements in how it operates and communicating to its partners. This newsletter is the first in a plan to regularly inform everyone what were doing and what is being planned. We have created a new website with plans to continually add to and improve the content. We have added 4 new board members to the Advisory Board, 3 from educational institutions and one from a major California corporation. We have planned a great virtual Summit in February 2021 that I know you will all want to attend. We had two virtual events this Fall which were very successful with a high level of attendance.
2021 will be even better and you will see even more engagement by CaliforniaLAW and all our partners. Be safe an have a wonderful holiday.
2021 Annual Pathway to Law Virtual Summit
February 17 –19, 2021 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
We are excited to announce our 6th Annual Pathway to Law Summit will be hosted virtually on Zoom. California LAW Pathways hopes to carry on its tradition of bringing together our ecosystem of students, faculty, staff, and professionals in the law community to learn, network, and collaborate. This year's theme is "Tackling Civil Rights and Racial Injustice in a Pandemic".
2021 Summit Information
Summit Keynote Speakers:
- Bryan Stevenson (invited), Social Justice Activist; Founder and Director, Equal Justice Initiative
- Rhonda V. Magee, Mindfulness Teacher; Author; Lawyer
- Lateefah Simon, Advocate for Civil Rights, Racial Justice and Juvenile Justice
Plenary Session Topics Include:
- Destressing in a Stressful World- Doing Well in Spite of COVID-19
- Getting Students Ready for the Workplace
- Surviving and Thriving Amidst the Pandemic
- What I wish I Knew About College & Law School
- Effecting Change Through Community Action
- Sharing the Journey- Our Law Pathway Changing Lives
Access the Summit Schedule here. Summit Registration Opens on Friday, December 18.
Cal LAW Student Alumni Spotlight
Name: Cristina Cabezas
Community College Attended: Santa Ana College
Undergraduate Attended: University of California, Berkeley
Current Law School: University of Oregon, and I am a 1L
How did you first get involved with California LAW Pathways program? I became involved with California Law in the Fall of 2019. At the time, I was taking paralegal courses, and a professor suggested I research the program given my long-term goal was law school.
How has the California LAW Pathways program impacted you personally and professionally? Through California LAW, I was taught by practicing lawyers who had insight into the legal field. As a first-generation American and student, this insight was invaluable because I did not know any lawyers before this exposure. Additionally, I was able to gain employment in a law firm because of a recommendation by one of my professors. Lastly, when I looked to apply to law school, I had individuals on my side that were willing to write me a letter of recommendation.
Personally, the program helped me see that law school was within my reach. The professors believed we could do it, and it boosted my confidence.
Why do you think it is important for an organization like California LAW Pathways to exist? These programs are important because as first-generation American and students understanding the process of attaining a law degree seems foreign. Many times, we are the first in our family to receive a high school degree, so a professional degree seems out of our reach. The California Law program helps us create a roadmap to access those higher echelons of academia. Additionally, Personally, I just needed exposure to what is needed, so I could equip myself to be a competitive candidate for law school.
What is next for you? What type of attorney or work do you look forward to doing once completed with Law School? Before starting law school, I thought I'd work in juvenile justice law. After one semester, I am leaving the doors open to any possibility. However, I do hope to one day teach at the community college level. As a product of the system, I am grateful, and I hope to be able to give back in that manner.
California LAW Pathways Hosts Constitution Day 2020
On September 17th, over 200 faculty members and students logged on for California LAW's virtual Constitution Day event entitled "Black Lives Matter and the Constitution". Speakers included Erwin Chemerinsky (Dean, UC Berkeley School of Law) and Paul Henderson (Director, San Francisco Department of Police Accountability).
California LAW Academy Coordinator Spotlight
Name: Nam Kyu Kang
Title: Law Academy Lead
School: De Anza High School
Can you share a little about your personal and/or professional background. I started my work to end Educational inequity in 2016, where I worked as a program coordinator at CSU Bakersfield. There, I developed and managed various STEM-related projects to bring STEM education to low-income students all across Kern County. I found my love for teaching there and moved to Richmon, CA where I have been for the past 4 years. My professional aspiration is to close the gaps between our low-income students of color, and their affluent counterparts.
How did you first hear about the California LAW Pathways program? I was first introduced to California LAW in 2017 when I joined the Law Academy. I was introduced to Patricia and Ruthe early on in my teaching career.
Can you tell us about your experience as a Law Coordinator. It has been an interesting experience. Leading a team for the first time, through a virtual platform, has made the human aspect of leading a little difficult to experience. I prioritize relationship building in the workplace, so coVid has not helped much in that aspect of my profession.
I love being the Law Coordinator. I truly get to experience, on the systematic level, how I can improve the learning experience for our students. Whether that is providing more resources, or collaborating with my team for better projects, supporting our students has become easier as the Law Coordinator.
How do you think the California LAW Pathways program impacts the lives of students and contributes to diversifying the legal profession? I think California LAW provides the social capital our low-income students need to progress upward in our society. Even if students are not able to earn internships or jobs through the organization, just having the information available for our students is enough to help our students become aware of the opportunities that exist. Our low-income students lack the knowledge of the opportunities that exist, not the skills to maximize those opportunities.