Fall 2013 UCLA Law Magazine

Page 66

NEWS & EVENTS

David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy Celebrates 15th Anniversary Reunion in march, the david J. ePstein PrOgram in Public inteReSt laW and Policy celebrated its 15th Anniversary Reunion, hosting “Celebrating Our Public Interest Community and Envisioning the Future.” More than 200 program alumni, along with program students, faculty, staff and David J. Epstein ’64, the program’s principal benefactor, attended. The day—full of emotion and characterized by an unmistakable spirit of celebration and joy—underscored the importance of the program and its mission of educating and training the next generation of public interest lawyers and advocates. Complementing the various opportunities for engagement, lunchtime was marked by the recognition of three of the program’s founding and now retired faculty members—Rick Abel, Alison Anderson and Gary Blasi—and of one of the program’s soon-to-be-retired administrators—Rochelle Adelman—all of whom played a pivotal role in the flourishing of the program. “The success of the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law

Epstein Program alumni at the celebration

and Policy would not have been possible without the commitment of dedicated teachers—most especially our founding faculty—and the support of devoted students, administrators and alumni. While much has changed since the program was established, our mission has not,” said Cathy Mayorkas, director of the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy. “The generosity of David J. Epstein and his wife, Jane, has—through the efforts of the program community— impacted for the good the lives of so many.” As reflected in a video played during lunch, program alumni— now numbering approximately 400 and, at the time of the reunion, constituting 13 classes—are making their mark in diverse settings—in the nonprofit, government and private sectors, the judiciary and academia—across the country and abroad. Engaged in addressing a broad array of social justice issues, they are innovative thinkers, fierce advocates, recipients of prestigious national fellowships, exceptional leaders and founders of pioneering organizations, committed to the pursuit and advancement of social and economic justice.

David J. Epstein speaks at the event.

Epstein Program Hosts Speaker Series the david J. ePStein PRogRaM in Public inteReSt laW and Policy hosted the first program of its 2012-13 speaker series in September 2012, which addressed the future of capital punishment in California. The event focused on Proposition 34, which if approved on Election Day would have replaced California’s death penalty with a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. The panelists preGil Garcetti sented both sides of the issue and confronted the fiscal, social and moral implications of capital punishment. The participants included: Gil Garcetti ’67, former Los Angeles County district attorney; Michele Hanisee, special assistant in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office; Ellen Kreitzberg, professor of law at Santa Clara University School of Law; and Aqeela Sherrills, “Yes on 34” spokesperson. The event was moderated by Professor Stuart Banner. Additional speaker series events have addressed: recent developments at the intersection of immigration law and higher education for undocumented students; adoption of the Affordable Care Act and challenges to health care reform; and changes to ensure fairness in our criminal justice system, among other topics.

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Alumni Honored at Annual La Raza Dinner

The Honorable Louie L. Vega

Devon Rios

the ucla la Raza laW Student aSSociation honored two UCLA Law alumni at the annual La Raza Alumni Dinner: the Honorable Louie L. Vega ’83, a judge of the Superior Court of Kern County; and Devon Rios ’09, an attorney at the Learning Rights Law Center. The annual reception, which was held in March, brings La Raza alumni together with students, who have the opportunity to learn about graduates’ experiences in various areas of the law.

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