Three Honorary LL.D. Degrees to be Awarded at Commencement
At a recent meeting of Southwestern's Board of Trustees, the Board voted
to award honorary Doctor of Laws degrees to three deserving individuals
who have contributed
significantly to Southwestern, legal education and the community. Being honored
on May 20 during the law school's 92nd Commencement Ceremony at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles will be Judge Arthur Alarcón,
Professor Beverly Rubens Gordon '54, and Ms. Janice Manis. Read more.
Student Commencement Speaker Selected
Graduating day student Todd Fertig has been chosen to deliver the Class of 2007
Student Commencement Address at Southwestern's Commencement
Ceremony. He was selected from a field of 13 candidates by a panel of students, faculty and administrators based on written speech and oral presentation.
A member of Law Journal, an Intramural Moot Court Competition Finalist and
current Chair of the Moot Court Board of Governors, Fertig has been highly
involved in activities and honors programs throughout his legal education.
On campus, he has served as President of the Federalist Society, President
of the Chamber Musicians, and Vice-President of the Tax Law Society. In 2006,
he also received the Judge Barry Russell Excellence in Federal Practice Awarded
from the Los Angeles chapter of the Federal Bar Association. A former CPA, Fertig
has accepted a position as a tax consultant for Deloitte, starting after he
"I am honored to be representing the graduates," Fertig
said. "I feel that the commencement speech coming from a student
should be student-focused and I tried to put in a lot of things that
would really hit home for my peers."
National Anthem Singers Selected for Commencement
For the first time, Southwestern will add the Star Spangled Banner
to its commencement ceremony. Graduating day students Aylin Algan and
Zeina Jafar were selected to perform the National Anthem as a duet
for Southwestern's 92nd Commencement Ceremony. During the Fall semester, a student proposal sought to
include Francis Scott Key's notoriously challenging theme to the annual
ceremony, which would be performed by a graduating student(s). The
proposal was accepted and auditions were held in February.
ITAP Teams Reach 2nd Place, Semifinals
The Interscholastic Trial Advocacy Program (ITAP) recently
sent teams to two major regional competitions.
National Ethics Trial Competition; Second-Place
Advised by Professor Joseph Esposito, Southwestern's team of advocates
- Linda K. Bradlyn, Elisabeth Duarte, Mia Floisand and Heather Patrick
- competed at the National Ethics Trial Competition in Sacramento
in March, going undefeated in three preliminary rounds. Out of 16
teams, Southwestern placed second. "Once again our ITAP students
enjoyed another very successful tournament experience," Professor
Esposito said. "They did a truly outstanding job. The four advocates
were incredible ambassadors for Southwestern."
In addition to Professor Esposito, coaches for the team included Professors
Karen Smith and Bill Seki, and alums Mario Trujillo '95 and Octavio
Chiadez '00. Michael Whitmarsh served as team manager.
American Attorneys for Justice (formerly the American Trial
Lawyers Association) Competition; Semi-finalists
Southwestern sent two teams to the The American Attorneys for Justice
(formerly ATLA) competition last month in Santa Monica. According to Professor Bill
Seki, both teams performed admirably. The team of Tessa King, Keya
Koul, Autumn Puro and Kristie Shields placed fourth after three preliminary
rounds and advanced to the semi finals where they were defeated by Pepperdine,
which took first place in the competition.
Law Review/Law Journal Announce 2007-2008 Leaders
Congratulations to the following students on their appointment to
leadership positions on the boards of the Southwestern University
Law Review and Southwestern Journal of Law and Trade in the Americas.
Law Review Executive Board
Special Projects Editor
Lead Articles Editors
Note and Comment Editors
Law Journal Executive Board
Lead Articles Editors
Note and Comments Editors
Southwestern Student Lands Prestigious Internship
Diana Webster, a third-year day student, has been selected to participate
in the Morris K. Udall Native American Congressional Internship
Program, which provides
its participants with an insider's view of how the federal government works.
She is one of 12 students who will partake in the 10-week program in Washington,
D.C., which allows interns to get immersed
in observing the government's decision making process by working
in the Senate and House offices,
committees, Cabinet departments and the White House. Webster will work for
the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) as a legal intern.
"Dinah Bear, the CEQ's General Counsel, explained that the office coordinates
federal environmental policies and initiatives including the National Environmental
Policy Act (NEPA), and works with other agencies and White House offices," Webster
said. "She described a very hands-on experience where I would have the
opportunity to write legal memoranda, do legal research and attend Congressional
hearings. It is a great fit because my Ojibwe grandparents taught me that Indian
people have a deep responsibility to protect the earth and all its creatures."
Professor Angela Riley recognized Webster's strong commitment to Indian legal
issues during her Federal Indian Law and Cultural Property classes as well
as her involvement with Southwestern's Native American Law Students Association
(NALSA) and encouraged her to apply for the program. "Professor Riley
is the faculty advisor of the club and an incredible resource, constantly providing
NALSA with information on opportunities in the field of Indian Law." Read
86 Students Participating in Spring Externships
Externships offer law students an opportunity to explore areas of interest
and gain valuable on-the-job experience. During the Spring semester, 86
students are working in a variety of positions: 19 in judicial offices,
30 in government,
10 in public interest, 23 in the entertainment/sports and four in entertainment
Online Registration Now Available
Southwestern students can now register online for Summer 2007, Fall 2007
and Spring 2008 courses through WebAdvisor. According to Carolyn Haith, Director of Registration and Records, access to the schedule of
classes and registration times is now available. Students will need to specify their student ID number and the last
four digits of their Social Security Number to get a priority start time.
materials have been prepared to assist in the registration process
and to provide guidance in the selection of classes for
upcoming academic year. Students are strongly encouraged to read the following
guides before attempting to register for courses through WebAdvisor:
Additional assistance is available in the Registration and Records
All Southwestern students recently received an email from Dean Garth regarding the law school's
participation in the 2007 Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE).
Students are encouraged to complete the survey in order to help faculty and
administrators focus attention and resources in ways that will enhance student
learning and law school effectiveness. Surveys are due April 30 and take just
a few minutes to complete. The results of this year's survey prompted several initiatives that were implemented this year. Questions about the LSSSE survey may be directed to the Dean of Students
Anne Lynn has been named Student Counselor/Disability Coordinator in the
Office of the Dean of Students. In this capacity, Anne will assist students seeking advisement concerning their progress to graduation, coordinate student requests for special accommodations, and assist students with other personal concerns. She will provide special assistance to transfer and visiting students and will provide support for other special projects to enhance the student experience at Southwestern, including Table Days and the LSSSE survey. Anne will continue to provide other support to the Dean of Students Office as well as related support to the Student Affairs Office.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
Q: With such an extensive background in technology, what are some
of your favorite new products?
A: I am actually not a fan of technology for technology's sake. I buy something
if I have a real need for it, and even then I only get the features I really
need. My iPod is not new, but I use it every day at work and it is incredibly
convenient not to have to carry around a bag full of CDs. I am really sold
on Firefox, an Internet browser that has an enormous array of free add-ons
that allow you to customize the browser to do everything you might want.
Q: What attracted you to technology law?
A: I had a technology background (graduated from MIT), but did not really think
I would be using any of that training after law school. However, when lawyers
I worked with found out that I knew what computers and software were, they
started referring work to me. Out of that grew my specialized practice. It
is an area of law that is never dull and is continually challenging.
Q: In your opinion, what has been the most important piece of legislation
in that last few years that directly addresses the advancing technological
A: Most of the “technology" legislation enacted over the last decade
has actually been anti-technology. It was proposed and supported by old-line
companies that were trying to slow down the use of new, innovative technologies,
not to facilitate the adoption of those technologies. These companies and the
trade associations that front for them have the political clout necessary to
gain passage of these laws. Seldom does Congress pass legislation that is pro-technology.
The best that technology supporters have been able to do in most cases has
been to get a compromise, such as the DMCA, which provides something for everyone.
But as recent developments have shown, the DMCA is sorely out of date and does
not provide the public with the flexibility needed to use new technologies
to their maximum capabilities.
Q: How has the Internet affected intellectual property law?
A: The positive result of the Internet has been to level the playing field
in terms of allowing individuals and small organizations to compete with
larger, established companies in getting their intellectual property into
the marketplace. The negative result has been the fact that the Internet
makes it extremely easy for people to infringe other people's IP rights.
A new balance between copyright owners and users of copyrighted works needs
to be achieved. Unfortunately, that hasn't happened yet. But it will, because
consumers are not willing to wait and, if large copyright owners don't become
more reasonable, piracy will increase to the point that companies will not
be able profitably to develop and distribute new works. But it is not all
doom and gloom. New business models will develop that will give consumers
what they want and still allow copyright owners to make a decent return on
Q: What was your most memorable case when you practiced?
A: Most of the cases I worked on did not seem to be that memorable at the outset.
It was just two parties slugging it out over a particular, relatively narrow
issue. However, once those cases went to the appellate level, they took on
much broader significance. There were a number of landmark copyright cases
that I was fortunate to be involved in while in private practice. Perhaps
the most cited is MAI v. Peak, in which the 9th Circuit held, for
the first time, that copying a work into the memory of a computer constituted
a copy, and hence an act of copyright infringement. The decision pre-dated
the Internet, so at the time the ruling did not seem to be that significant.
However, with the advent of the Internet, this decision has become very significant.
Q: Which course is your favorite to teach and why?
A: I enjoy all of the courses I teach. But my favorite is Drafting and Negotiating
Technology Agreements. It allows me to teach students what is not in any
textbook, namely, how lawyers really draft contracts. I try to make
it fun by having interesting fact situations. Also at the end of the course
we have two experts come in who act as clients, and the students get to be
their lawyers and represent their interests.
Q: If you could not fail, what would you do?
Write screenplays - while continuing to teach law, of course.
Q: Since you began your affiliation with Southwestern [in 1976 as an
adjunct faculty member], what's the biggest change you've seen in your students
throughout the years?
A: The school has always had extremely motivated students, many of whom would
not have been able to attend law school if it weren't for the many options
available to them - evening classes, part time programs, etc. There has been
a steady increase in the credentials of students entering the school. There
has also been a steady increase in the technical savvy of our students. There
were no laptops, or even personal computers in 1976. There was no Internet,
no email, no cell phones, no instant messaging. Now even the least tech-savvy
law student considers these amazing technologies to be second nature. Most
students use these technologies to aid in their learning experience. Unfortunately,
too many students allow these technologies to be a distraction. They are not
listening or participating in class, and that is an enormous mistake. Being
an active participant in one's legal training is critical to becoming a good
lawyer. You can't learn to think like a lawyer, or participate like a lawyer,
if you are merely a reader and passive listener.
Q: How often do you need to update and revise your texts on technology
to keep them current?
A: Every text I use is outdated by the time it is printed. That is just the
nature of the field - things move much too rapidly to be captured in a printed
publication. Fortunately, the Internet allows the authors of these casebooks
to provide electronic updates as new issues develop. For my contract drafting
class, I change approximately 20% of the book each year. And there are always
a few new developments that occur during the course that the students need
to be made aware of. So there are always some handouts to supplement the Syllabus.
Q: What is your favorite law themed TV show or movie?
A: I generally don't watch TV shows or movies that involve trial scenes, because
they invariably do them wrong - particularly with evidentiary objections
and rulings. I find that I am yelling at the TV set - "Object, for heaven's
sake. It's hearsay (or a violation of the parole evidence rule or best evidence
rule, etc.). But I like shows like CSI and Numbers, which
involve legal issues but generally do not involve courtrooms scenes."
Q: What are some of your hobbies outside of teaching and technology?
A: While others like to play golf or poker, I like to write. When I am not
updating my books, I like to write fiction - novels, short stories, movie
and TV scripts. I do it for my own edification, not for money. Most of the
things I have written have never been read by anyone else - and that's fine
with me. It's just a personal outlet.
Q: What advice do you have for students who want to practice in the
area of technology law?
A: Don't let the technology scare you off. If you got into law school, you
are smart enough to learn what you need to know about the technology your clients
are developing or using. Also, you don't have to know everything about every
technology instantly. You can learn as you go. Clients are always willing to
talk about their technology, and they are used to explaining it to non-technical
people - bankers, investors, customers, etc. You can also read books written
for non-technical people to get a basic background in new technologies - like
the "For Dummies" series - which are surprisingly good sources of
Q: Mac or PC?
A: Both. I much prefer the Mac, but I use both interchangeably. If you come
to my office you'll see me using my desktop PC and my laptop Mac at the same
time. Using cross-platform software like Microsoft Office and the Firefox
web browser make it relatively easy to use both technologies simultaneously.
PROFESSOR CATHERINE CARPENTER
PROFESSOR MICHAEL EPSTEIN
- Site Team Chair, Provisional Accreditation, ABA Section on Legal Education
and Admissions to the Bar, Faulkner University School of Law, Montgomery, Alabama
DEAN BRYANT GARTH
- "Broadcast Technology as Diversity Opportunity: Exchanging Market Power
for Multiplexed Signal Set-Asides," 59 FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS LAW
JOURNAL 1 (December 2006)
- "Lawyer Satisfaction in the Process of Structuring Legal Careers," 41
LAW AND SOCIETY REVIEW 1 (with R. Dinovitzer; 2007)
- Chair, AALS Committee on Research Meeting, Washington, D.C.
Southwestern Alum and Trustee Confirmed to Federal Bench
On Thursday, March 15, the U.S. Senate confirmed Los Angeles County
Superior Court Judge Otis D. Wright II '80 to a seat on the United
States District Court, Central District of California. Judge Wright
was one of five nominees selected by President George Bush for the
federal bench on January 9. Receiving enthusiastic bipartisan approval,
Judge Wright was praised by several senators including Arlen Spector
(R-PA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) who spoke glowingly of his many
contributions and professional accomplishments before the Senate voted
to confirm him. As a Central District judge, he will hear cases from
Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara,
and San Luis Obispo counties. Read
Southwestern Welcomes New Full-Time Faculty for 2007-2008
Two new full-time faculty members will be joining Southwestern this
fall. David Fagundes has been appointed as Associate Professor of Law.
He will initially teach courses in Copyright and Property. Julie K.
Waterstone has been appointed as Associate Clinical Professor of Law.
She will help develop and direct the new Children's Rights Clinic.
"Both bring outstanding academic and professional credentials
as well as tremendous enthusiasm for teaching and research," Dean
Garth said. "They are great bets to be future leaders of their
Southwestern Welcomes New Adjunct Faculty
Hon. Mitchell Beckloff and Professors Patrick Crawford and David
Rosenbaum, experts in community property, tax law and video game law,
have joined Southwestern's adjunct faculty for Summer 2007. Read more.
Three Professors Honored with 2007 Excellence in Teaching Award
Southwestern is pleased to announce that Professor Austen Parrish, Professor Angela Riley and Hon. J. Gary Hastings have been selected to receive the 2007 Excellence in Teaching Awards. This is the second year the recipients were recognized by the student body through a unique
nomination and selection process. All members of the Southwestern Community were encouraged to submit nominations in three categories - First-Year Professor, Upper Division Professor and Adjunct Professor. The top award recipient nominees from each of the three categories were chosen by the SBA Board, and the winner in each category was then voted on by the student body.
The awards are intended to recognize Southwestern's belief that the day-to-day teaching of students is of primary importance. The goal is to acknowledge outstanding teaching contributions that are especially noteworthy as an example of excellence. Comments submitted in support of this year's faculty honorees follow below.
Professor Austen Parrish - First-Year Professor
- "Professor Parrish is a fantastic professor and contributes to nearly all aspects of the Southwestern Community."
- "In the classroom, Professor Parrish fosters interesting discussions that are engaging, and easy to follow. He teaches in a manner that allows students to discern the relevant legal issues."
- "Beyond his teaching style, Professor Parrish is the most approachable professor on campus. He will always drop whatever he is doing to meet with any student, whether or not that student is in his class."
- "In his five years as a professor at Southwestern, Professor Parrish has been a great influence on students' lives and on their legal development."
Professor Angela Riley - Upper Division Professor
- "Professor Riley brings her excellent knowledge of specialized areas of law to her classroom. She teaches cutting edge legal topics such as Federal Indian Law, and has created a tremendous course that is not taught anywhere else in the country, Illiberal Groups in the Liberal State."
- "Professor Riley brings her extensive knowledge as an attorney, Judge for the Morongo Tribe, and Justice on the Supreme Court of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation of Oklahoma."
- "After having taken classes with Professor Riley, it is clear that she is brilliant, kind, and very passionate about the subjects that she teaches."
- "Professor Riley has shown tremendous dedication to Southwestern over the past four years, and I hope she stays here for decades to come."
Hon. J. Gary Hastings - Adjunct Professor
- "Professor Hastings is extremely generous with his time for all students. His experience as an Associate Justice for the California Court of Appeal, Second District, Fourth Division, is unparalleled."
- "Professor Hastings' accessibility to his students is incredible, especially considering the fact that he is not on campus everyday."
- "He is both a caring Judge and professor, and his contributions to the Southwestern community are much appreciated."
Southwestern Professors Help Judges Polish Writing Skills
Frost and Paul
Bateman have partnered in a unique effort to help judges advance
at one of their most essential responsibilities: drafting opinions.
What began as a one-time job evaluating a course for the National
Judicial College (NJC) has blossomed into regular engagements for
the professors, where they have taught members of the bench how to
improve their writing for the last 15 years. "Sometimes their
writing simply needs to be burnished a little bit stylistically.
Sometimes the material is not as well organized as it ought to be," Professor
Each year, Professors Frost and Batemen conduct a handful of seminars
for practicing judges from all over the country. About half are held
at the NJC in Reno, Nevada, where judges from across the spectrum go
to hone their professional skills. "When we do a session, we read
their work first," Professor Bateman explained. "That gives
us some idea of what we're going to do for a particular session. We
customize it each time." Read more.
Leading State Jurists to Preside over Final Intramural Moot Court Rounds
On Saturday, April 14, Southwestern's top two oralists, selected earlier in the day, will present their arguments before three of the nation's leading jurists in the final round of the law school's 2007 Intramural Moot Court Competition. The event will take place at 4 p.m. at the Richard H. Chambers U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 125 S. Grand Avenue, Pasadena. Presiding over the competition are Hon. Louis Butler, Jr., Supreme Court of Wisconsin; Hon. Rives Kistler, Supreme Court of Oregon; Hon. Steven Levinson, Supreme Court of Hawaii; and Hon. Charles R. Wilson, United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
The semi-final competition, immediately prior at 2 p.m., will host California jurists, including Hon. Candace D. Cooper, California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District; Hon. George P. Schiavelli, United States District Court, Central District of California; Hon. Erithe A. Smith, United States Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California; Hon. Paul Turner, California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District; Hon. Thomas L. Willhite, Jr., California Court of Appeals, Second Appellate District; and Hon. Andrew J. Wistrich, United States District Court, Central District of California. All members of the Southwestern community are invited to attend the events (please RSVP to the Moot Court Office).
Coming Soon: SBA Elections
The campaign to elect the 2007-2008 Student Bar Association
officers kicks off on Monday, April 16 when candidates will address
student body at 12:30 p.m. in the Student Commons (behind the Westmoreland building).
Elections will take place Tuesday and Wednesday, April 17 and
from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The SBA encourages all students to meet
the candidates, vote and then volunteer. For further information,
the SBA Office.
Alumni and Students Honored at Annual Event
The entire Southwestern community is invited to attend the Alumni
Association's 20th Annual Awards Recognition Reception and Auction
on Thursday, April 19 from
6:30 to 9 p.m. on the second floor of the Bullocks Wilshire building. This year's
honorees include "Alumnus of the Year," Michael J. Downer '81, Senior Vice President,
Fund Business Management and Coordinator of Legal and Compliance, Capital Research
and Management Company; "Outstanding Judicial Officer," The Honorable David S.
Wesley '72, Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles; and "Outstanding Friend," Professor Karen Smith. In addition,
two deserving students will be presented with scholarships during the event.
This year's recipients are Greg Mohrman from the traditional day program and
Joshua David Buck, a first-year SCALE student. They were selected based on their
active involvement in community and law school activities while upholding academic
A silent auction will provide guests the chance to bid on everything
from movie tickets to Maui vacations. With bids ranging from $10 to
$500, anyone can join the fun. The event is designed to pay tribute
to those who have generously given their time and resources to Southwestern
and raise money from the auction to benefit the Alumni Association's
Scholarship Fund. The cost to attend is $40 for alumni and friends,
$15 for Southwestern students and free for students in the Graduating
Class of 2007. Reservations are mandatory, so those planning to attend are urged to contact the Development
Office as soon as possible.
Julia Mason to be Honored Upon Retirement
Julia Mason, Southwestern's Associate Director of the Externship Program, has
served students and the legal profession for nearly two decades. She will be retiring in June and Southwestern will honor her work in a reception,
to be held in the Bullocks Wilshire Building on May 29. To receive
an invitation to this free event, please contact the Public Information
Office, as an RSVP is required.
Career Services has several upcoming events to help students make
connections, obtain clerkships, learn about the Patent Bar and prepare
to be a summer clerk. For more information on any of the following programs, contact the Career Services Office.
Summer Job Listings
In an effort to assist students, the Alumni Association in conjunction
with the Development and Career Services Offices, have contacted Southwestern
alumni and encouraged them to list positions for Southwestern students
for the summer as well as for graduates pending bar results. Last year,
more than 100 paid and volunteer positions were listed. The CSO has five lists already published and more will come out every Friday until the
end of the semester.
Learn about the Patent Bar - Tuesday, April 17, 4:45 p.m., W311
Mark Dighton of the Practising Law Institute will talk about the Patent
Bar Exam, including application procedures. This is a must attend event
for anyone thinking of taking this exam.
Summer Clerk Boot Camp - Monday, April 23, 12:30 and 5 p.m., W311
Find out what to do to get the most out of summer clerking experiences.
Topics will include how to approach assignments, effective networking
skills, how to deal with billable hours, and everything else that
students need to know to make the summer a success.
ABOTA Fellowship Opportunity for Graduating Students
The Los Angeles County Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
is accepting applications for its fellowship program for graduating students
taking the California Bar Examination this summer. The program begins in September
and lasts three months (the successful candidate must agree not to accept any
offers of employment until the program has been completed).
The first month of the program will be spent in a defense firm. The fellow
will not be a law clerk, but will sit with a senior partner or associate in
depositions, court appearances, settlement conferences, motion hearings and/or
trials. The second month will be spent in a plaintiffs' firm, witnessing all
of the above from a different angle. The third month will be spent at the Los
Angeles County Superior Court with various judges who will expose the fellow
to both courtroom and chambers proceedings.
A stipend is typically offered with the fellowship and many past fellowships
have resulted in job offers. The deadline to apply is May 18, 2007 and interviews
will begin in mid to late May 2007. For more information and submission details,
contact the Career Services Office.
Unfair Competition Law Program
The Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section of the State Bar
of California is presenting its annual Unfair Competition Law Program
at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles on Friday, May 18,
2007, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The section is offering scholarships to the first five law students to phone in
and register for the program (call the State Bar Program Registrations Office at
The theme of the
program is California's Unfair Competition Law After Prop. 64: You Want To Sue?
May the Force Be With You. The program will examine multiple aspects
of California's unfair competition laws, including the Unfair Competition
Law, California B&P Code Section 17200; the Consumer Legal Remedies
Act; and the impact on class actions of the federal Class Action Fairness
Act. The program, chaired by Elaine Foreman, Director of Legal
Services for Cisco, will feature Federal Trade Commissioner J. Thomas
Rosch as the keynote speaker. Panelists include several prominent
practitioners from government, the plaintiffs' bar, and the defense
bar. Registration is also available online at www.calbar.ca.gov/antitrust and a special student rate is also available.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
"W.A.Y." - Who Are You & Why Are You here?
Dakar Diourbel, Third-Year Day Program
When Dakar Diourbel took the LSAT on Southwestern's campus, he walked
around the Bullocks Wilshire building and saw an old photo of the law
school's first graduating class from 1914. "I remember walking
through the building and looking in the display case and there was
a black man in the group. I was very impressed because that picture
was taken long before the civil rights movement." Then he saw
a picture of the late Los Angeles Mayor (and Southwestern alumnus)
Tom Bradley. "I had moved to L.A. and I thought Southwestern was
the best option for me, so I decided to go here."
Born and raised in and around the suburbs of Chicago, Diourbel earned two bachelors
degrees from Illinois State University: one in Occupational Health and Safety
and the other in Anthropology. Although he spent part of his sophomore year
of undergrad living in Southern California and taking class at Los Angeles
City College, he returned to Illinois to finish his degrees and work in Occupational
The youngest of eight siblings, he moved to Los Angeles four years ago because
several of his brothers and sisters already resided here and he wanted to live
in a better climate. Diourbel spent his first year in Southern California working
for Eastman Chemical. He started law school thinking he would go into environmental
law, representing plaintiffs against chemical companies. But as he has continued
to study and network with local attorneys, his interest has shifted to criminal
defense and personal injury.
Now in his third year, Diourbel has enjoyed his experience at Southwestern,
working in the fitness center since his first year, in what he calls "one
of the most coveted jobs on campus because you can get a lot of studying done
down here." He also enjoys talking to the students who come to the gym. "I've
wound up mentoring first year students, giving them advice."
When he is not studying, Diourbel enjoys spending time with his family, working
out (he prefers weights), riding motorcycles and reading anthropology books.
Though he is almost finished with school, he has a big choice to make: the
location of his next step. "I'm making my decision about where I'm going
to take the bar: it will either be California, Arizona, Georgia or somewhere
in the South."