Dean’s Message

We recently completed an academic year filled with numerous thought-provoking lectures and conferences on timely topics. We welcomed several distinguished guests to campus, including, most recently, Valerie B. Jarrett, senior advisor to President Barack Obama, who delivered an inspiring Commencement address to the UCLA Law class of 2011. Additional recent law school highlights are below, including photos from our lively class reunions—the largest reunion gathering in the law school’s history! I am pleased to share these with you, and hope you enjoy reading about them.

Rachel F. Moran
Dean and Michael J. Connell Distinguished Professor of Law

Reunions 2011                                      View the photos here!
The extended law school family gathered in May to celebrate this year’s class reunions for the classes of  ’61, ’66, ’71, ’76, ’81, ’86, ’91, ’96, ’01 and ’06. Alumni reconnected at this largest ever reunion gathering, which was filled with shared stories, laughter and fond memories of law school.

Reunions 2011 also marked the second year of the Reunion Challenge, an opportunity for our alumni to honor their reunion class with a financial commitment to UCLA Law. It is not too late to join your class in supporting UCLA School of Law. Please click here to see where your class stands in the Challenge, or to make a gift.

We would like to thank Rick Runkel ’81, national chair of UCLA School of Law’s 2011 Reunion Challenge, and our reunion committees for their dedication to UCLA Law and for making Reunions 2011 such a great success.

Commencement 2011
On May 13th, more than 400 UCLA School of Law students joined the law school’s alumni community when they were awarded their J.D., LL.M. and S.J.D. degrees during the UCLA Law commencement. Commencement speaker Valerie B. Jarrett, senior advisor to President Barack Obama, shared lessons of leadership from her career. “I’ve learned that true leadership is far more about people and values, than knowledge or even opinions about any one issue,” Ms. Jarrett said. “Passion; integrity; good judgment; resilience; courage; compassion; civility; and vision: these are the qualities that matter.”

In describing her transition from the private to the public sector, she encouraged the graduates to step outside their comfort zones, remain open to possibilities, and to find and follow their own passion. “Resist any temptation for complacency, for it will extinguish your passion,” Ms. Jarrett said.

She also encouraged the class of 2011 to consider public service at some point in their careers, and to find the courage to take charge and become leaders. She said: “We are a nation built on the idea that ordinary people can do extraordinary things. And if you’re here, graduating from this outstanding university, you are no ordinary person. So we’re counting on you; our country is counting on you, to accept your new responsibilities and lead.”


Alumni of the Year: The Honorable Sandra Segal Ikuta ’88 and David P. Steiner ’86
The law school celebrated the work and achievements of UCLA School of Law’s 2011 Alumni of the Year, The Honorable Sandra Segal Ikuta ’88, judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and David P. Steiner ’86, chief executive officer of Waste Management, Inc., with a reception in May at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel.

Judge Ikuta, who has a distinguished record as both a judge and a practicing attorney, was honored for Public and Community Service. She has served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit since her appointment by President Bush in 2006, and she previously served as deputy secretary and general counsel of the California Resources Agency. Steiner, an experienced and well-respected business professional, was honored for Professional Achievement. He has served as chief executive officer of Waste Management Inc., a Fortune 200 company, since 2004. During his tenure, the company has received numerous accolades, including being named one of America’s top companies by Forbes.

Law Firm Challenge
The success of the Law Firm Challenge, now in its 9th year, continues to grow. The challenge broke new records in 2010 with 78% of alumni at 87 participating firms making a gift to the law school and with 43 firms reaching the 100% mark. And, we are poised for another record-breaking year—we already have 95 firms in the 2011 challenge.

It’s not too late to participate by making a gift before the fiscal year ends on June 30, 2011. To make an online gift, please visit

The Law Firm Challenge continues to be an important contributor to the school’s growing excellence and national reputation. The commitment of our participating firms is vital to the future of UCLA Law. To enroll your organization—and no firm is too small—please contact Michelle deBaroncelli at (310) 206-1170 or

Professor Stuart Banner was honored with the 2011 Rutter Award for Excellence in Teaching, established by William Rutter and presented annually to a professor who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to teaching. He received this well-deserved recognition at the 32nd Rutter Award Presentation Ceremony in April. Accepting the award from William Rutter, Professor Banner spoke briefly about his career, and made the audience laugh by reading excerpts from his student evaluations from his first year of teaching. “I’m grateful that some of you think I’m a good teacher. I’m also grateful that you didn’t know me 18 years ago,” said jokingly.


Stephen Yeazell Endowed Chair in Law
In keeping with the UCLA Law tradition of honoring our former deans, please help us meet our goal of raising $2 million to establish the Stephen Yeazell Endowed Chair in Law. For more information or to make a gift, please contact Donna Colin, director of major gifts and stewardship, at (310) 825-3025 or




Upcoming Events

New York City Networking Reception
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
6:00 p.m.
HK Lounge

EVERYTHING you need to know about social networking…but were afraid to ask
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
4:30 p.m.
Sidley Austin LLP - Chicago, IL

Alumni Admissions Program
Thursday, August 4, 2011
6:00 p.m.
UCLA School of Law

We invite our alumni and their families to a program on how to best to prepare for and apply to law school, as well as an explanation of the specifics of the UCLA Law admissions process. For more information, please e-mail