Past Alumni Spotlights

Angela Chung '06

Angela M. Chung graduated from UCLA School of Law from the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law & Policy Program. Prior to entering law school, she worked as a community organizer focusing on issues of race, gender, and criminalization.

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Jodi Zils Gagné '00

Jodi Zils GagneJodi Zils Gagné is a Connecticut native who came to UCLA after graduating from the University of Connecticut. After graduating in 2000 from the School of Law where she served on the editorial board of the UCLA Women’s Law Journal and co-chaired the Journal’s symposium, she practiced in downtown Los Angeles for Arnold & Porter for about a year. After that time, she realized she missed home, and she moved back to Connecticut with her husband, Steve.

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Leah Goodridge '09

When Leah Goodridge commenced her education at UCLA Law School, she already knew that she would use her law degree to empower people in need. This was something she started in high school, so it was only natural that Leah would continue this trajectory at UCLA School of Law.

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Ami Nguyen '11

Growing up, Ami Nguyen often interpreted for her parents, who are refugees from Vietnam and were unable to obtain more than elementary level education. Her family relied on government benefits and programs to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.

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Mike Orlando '01

An Orange County native, Mike came to UCLA School of Law after graduating from Occidental College. According to Mike, “I’d majored in English literature, and was interested in the rigorous training in writing, language, and oral argument that I knew I’d get at UCLA Law.” He still recalls visiting Peter Arenella and Steve Munzer’s classes as a college senior, and thinking, “I’m not sure I want to be a lawyer, but I definitely want to learn from these professors.”

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Adam Pelzman '92

Drawn to Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy and other great Russian novelists, Adam studied Russian literature at the University of Pennsylvania before coming to UCLA School of Law as part of the Class of 1992. At UCLA, Adam delved into the equally complex world of securities law, including an externship with the SEC in Washington, D.C.

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Robert Petersen '05

Since graduating from UCLA School of Law in 2005, Robert Petersen has pursued not only a career in law, but also in music and history.

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Courtney Powers '00

Courtney Powers came to UCLA School of Law to pursue her interest in public policy, particularly as it impacts women and children.  She served as Co-Editor in Chief of the UCLA Women's Law Journal and, after graduation, practiced as a litigator for three years.

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Elizabeth Shirey '14

When applying to law schools, aspiring JAG candidate Elizabeth Shirey had an atypical criterion: offerings related to the military and veterans. Partly due to its location next door to the VA campus and course options like Law of War & the War(s) on Terror and Anti-Terrorism & Criminal Enforcement, Elizabeth chose UCLA School of Law.

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Evonne Silva '13

Born and raised in a small town in California’s San Joaquin Valley to Azorean immigrants, Evonne Silva has been driven, from a young age, to address injustice and work to improve the conditions under which people live. Her commitment to social change through public interest legal work is an expression of who she is.

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Pauline Truong '05

Pauline Truong's family first migrated from China to Vietnam, and then a generation later risked their lives to leave Vietnam for Malaysia in a boat after the war. After some time at the refugee camps, they were blessed to receive refugee status in Australia and expanded internationally thereafter. At each transition, they successfully rebuilt their lives and businesses. Whilst it was challenging initially, this later became an asset for the globalization of Pauline' s work.

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Karen I. Tse '90

Karen Tse graduated from UCLA School of Law in 1990. During her studies she was a member of the Law Moot Court Honors Program and the Chair of the Asian Pacific Islander Law Student Association.

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Erika K. Wilson '03

Professor Erika K. Wilson (formerly Erika Woods) came to the UCLA School of Law with the goal of pursuing a career in social justice. As the first person in her family to obtain both an undergraduate and graduate degree, she was particularly interested in using her education to serve marginalized communities.

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Abigail A. Zelenski '03

Abigail A. Zelenski (formerly Abigail Tapang-Treanor) came to the UCLA School of Law with the goal of serving the public through government service. As an immigrant from the Philippines and as a child laborer, Abigail was drawn to utilizing her education for helping the community.

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