New Chairs Named for UCLA Law’s Board of Advisors

April 28, 2022
Samuel Fischer ’82 and Vanessa Lavely ’08

The UCLA School of Law’s Board of Advisors—the group of distinguished law school alumni who provide strategic input on faculty and student recruitment, alumni outreach, long-term priorities, and other topics of interest to the school—has elevated two members to the role of co-chair.

Vanessa Lavely ’08 and Samuel Fischer ’82 will assume their new leadership positions on the board beginning with the group’s April meeting. They succeed Alicia Miñana de Lovelace ’87, who joined the board in 2012 and has served as board chair since 2020, and who is now taking on the role of Chair of the Board of Directors of the UCLA Foundation.

The appointments were announced by UCLA School of Law Dean Jennifer L. Mnookin.

“Alicia Miñana de Lovelace has been an extraordinary leader of our Board of Advisors,” said Mnookin. “Through her thoughtful and strategic approach to a range of opportunities and challenges faced by the school, she has been a valued partner. Talented and tireless, she departs with my gratitude and heartfelt thanks for her enormous contributions to UCLA Law.”

“Vanessa and Sam have a pair of big shoes to fill, but I know that they will do just that,” added Mnookin. “I am excited for the future and what we will all accomplish together.”

As chair, Miñana de Lovelace set a model for a high level of board engagement and activity, introduced a set of working groups to partner with law school staff on important areas of the school’s operations and mission, and helped expanded board membership to be more diverse across geography and practice area.

Miñana de Lovelace has practiced law in Los Angeles for more than three decades, and today focuses primarily on nonprofit board work. Her contributions to UCLA Law and the university been immense. In addition to her work on the law school’s Board of Advisors, she has served on centennial campaign committees of both the law school and the UCLA school of Education and Information Studies. She is a past president of the La Raza Law Alumni Association. She and her husband Rob Lovelace, vice chairman and president of Capital Group Cos., gave the founding gift for the Center for Immigration Law and Policy at the law school and have made impactful gifts to the school’s Critical Race Studies program.

Her philanthropic activities extend to the wider Los Angeles community as well. She is the founding chairperson of the board of directors and a volunteer attorney at the Learning Rights Law Center, a nonprofit formed by UCLA Law graduates to assist low-income families and advocate for their children. She is also on the board of Human Rights Watch and was recently named as chair of the board of the Nature Conservancy Caribbean program. She also serves as co-chair of the Pacific Council’s development committee.

Lavely, who will be the first board leader to be based outside of Los Angeles, is a litigation partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore in the firm’s New York office, where she handles antitrust, intellectual property, environmental, commercial, and securities litigation for corporate clients. One of Crain’s New York Business “Notable Women in Law” in 2022, Lavely has also been named a “Future Star” by Benchmark Litigation (2019–2022) and featured on its “40 and Under Hot List” (2019–2021).

“I am honored to take the baton from Alicia, who has given so much to UCLA Law," says Lavely. "I look forward to collaborating with Dean Mnookin and her team, my co-chair Sam, and our fellow board members to continue the great work of those who have come before us. Our board is highly engaged, and we are fortunate to have a deep bench of diverse talents and backgrounds. For my part, I aim to expand our presence here in New York (while still visiting campus as often as possible . . . especially during winter!).”

Sam Fischer is a partner at the Century City-based entertainment law firm Ziffren Brittenham, where he represents leading actors, writers, directors, producers, executives, and companies in motion pictures, television, and new media. The Hollywood Reporter named Fischer one the “100 Power Lawyers in the Entertainment Industry” and designated him a “Legal Legend” in 2022.

“I am terrifically excited to work with Dean Mnookin and Vanessa Lavely,” says Fischer, “and to work with all our board members to build on the wonderful legacy established by Alicia Miñana de Lovelace.”

For more information about the Board of Advisors, contact alumni@law.ucla.edu.

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