“When I Think of the Class of 2012…”

by ursavoice

When I think of the class of 2012, I think of the incredible dedication it took to build a community from scratch while still dealing with all of the trials and tribulations that always occur during your 1st year of law school. Thank you so much.
Danny Moss, Class of 2013

When I think of the class of 2012, I am proud of their accomplishments during the past three years and excited for what lies ahead for them.  I wish them the best!
Joy Shoemaker, Head of Research Services

When I think of the class of 2012, I think how fortunate I was to have their guidance in getting me through the first year of law school. Their generosity, vision, and brilliance continue to inspire me
Andrea Smith, Class of 2013

When I think of the Class of 2012, I think of the way in which their brave and bright spirits make teaching at UCI a delight. The Class of 2012 embraces non-traditional assignments, like field trips, role plays, and research projects, being integrated into traditional courses. They have helped create new models for law school learning that will endure at UCI and hopefully spread to other law schools.
Professor Katie Porter

They say we are trailblazers.  Most days, it does not feel like it.  I can only imagine the greater burden borne by the Class of 2012 as it rarely looks like a burden for them. I thank the class of 2012 for establishing the general collegiality from which we all benefit.
Anonymous, Class of 2013

When I think of the Class of 2012 I think of putting Law books on empty shelves. And I thought maybe a future Supreme Court Justice touched this book.  Or a future Public Defender will need this book.  Or the future President of the United States used this book.
Sheila Fortman-Craun, UCI Law Library Administrative Coordinator

When I think of the class of 2012, the thought that instantly comes to mind is—thank you. I quickly realize though that this phrase is an understatement. However, thank you for sharing your words of wisdom and words of support. Thank you for being leaders and friends.
Meg Tanaka, Class of 2013

When I think of the Class of 2012, I remind myself to expect the unexpected – law students with atypical backstories and unusual courage.
Professor Jonathan D. Glater, UCI Law

I get a little sad that they will be gone next year. They have been so instrumental in creating the UCI culture; the school will feel so empty without them. They are always so supportive and encouraging. I hope they stay in touch!
Jaclyn Stahl, Class of 2013

When I think of the Class of 2012, I think, “They are UCI Law School.”  I’ll be looking for them in the courtyard next fall, missing them.  They will always be the law school to me. 

Brandy Stewart, Executive Assistant to the Dean


I think about the risk involved in agreeing to go to a not-fully-existing school, and I think about what it means to create new traditions.  But, mostly, I think about warm, welcoming students who have worked to create a uniquely supportive institution.

Jonathan Markovitz, Class of 2014


When I think of the Class of 2012, I feel admiration for their passion and their amazing talent; I fondly recall how warmly they welcomed me as a new UCI faculty member; and I feel thankful for all that they have done to build our remarkable community, for the benefit of current and future students, professors and staff.
Professor Christopher A. Whytock

When I think of the Class of 2012, I smile. I am so inspired – by your courage, your spirit, your example. By your warmth, your pioneering, and your willingness to name, advocate for, and envision alternatives to “the way things are done.” Thank you for creating and sustaining our community.
Jennifer Chin, Class of 2013

When I think of the Class of 2012, I am grateful.  I am grateful that they poured their considerable intellect, energy, enthusiasm and talent into building a foundation for the school.  And I am grateful that I had the chance to see them in action.
Professor Jennifer Chacón

When I think of the class of 2012, I remember the students I met in the Spring of their first year. They wanted their school to lead the way to a new kind of legal education, and I was moved to join them in pursuit of that goal. Thank you!
Michael Klinger, Class of 2013

When  I think of the Class of 2012, I think of a group of energetically motivated creative first generation of people trying to invent all the features of a new institution that is walking a tightrope of distinction, credibility, acceptability within an existing establishment of legal education, and creativity. Enthusiastic, socially committed, kind and loyal to each other, working tirelessly (no I take that back—working until they are dead tired) on building programs (Perspectives, the Environmental Group, the Law Review, the Voice, a unified, not sub-divided group serving the underserved and underrepresented, doing their own studies, performing pro bono, working in competitions, working on real cases, inventing new projects (e.g., “incubators”, the Global Justice Summit) and creating new traditions that we hope will last for years (e.g, the Community Seder, the Student Initiated Symposium), this unforgettable group of students will always be the “initiator” year of whatever UCI becomes.  I have never known so many individual students in a single class so well….they are truly unforgettable.. Good luck and come back often!
Professor Carrie Menkel-Meadow

When I think of the class of 2012 I think of URSA and OCHRA and the legacy of their founders. I think of unicorns and donuts. I think of all the great things I know they will do, be it in OC, LA, NYC, Singapore, or anywhere else their lives take them. And most of all I think of how much I will miss them.
Sabyl Landrum, Class of 2013

The pioneering spirit of the Class of 2012 has been one of the great pleasures of the launch of UC Irvine Law.  I now easily conjure an image of the inaugural class members gathering May 5, 2062 for their 50th Class Reunion, a full understanding of the traditions and qualities they established bringing a deeply satisfying joy—and a recognition that they furthered for the school’s first half century the founding vision of those of us here at the beginning.
Dean Charles Cannon

When I think of the class of 2012…I smile. I think of the people who welcomed me into law school, and the people who will make me miss it when I leave. I think of students who made this school better and lawyers who will make this world better.
Michael Wasserman, Class of 2013

When I think of the Class of 2012, I smile. They make teaching a joy. They exemplify Margaret Mead’s statement: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” I have high hopes for a world with them in it.
Professor Catherine Fisk

When I think of the class of 2012…I am amazed at the traditions and institutions they built. Their achievements truly paved the way for future students to succeed.
Betsy Bentler, Class of 2013

When I think of the Class of 2012…I have hope. I believe that they have learned the importance of giving back, and as attorneys will constantly be pushing to improve access to justice for the underserved—either in their daily or work or through meaningful pro bono work.
Anna Davis, Director of Pro Bono Programs

I think of amazing friends, sage advice, endless support, enormous intelligence, admirable achievements, role models, good hearts, deep respect, and cold Supreme Court concrete.  Thank you for paving the way, I will miss you guys! Best of luck to you all!
Emma Rosenberg, Class of 2013

When I think of the class of 2012, I think of my first words to you as your Dean of Students: Caminante, son tus huellas el camino y nada más; caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar.  Path maker, your footsteps are the path and nothing more; path maker, there is no path: you make the path by walking. I was honored to be an intimate part of your 1L year and to continue over the next two years as an honorary member of your community.  I know that you, my Inaugurals, and I are inextricably connected forever, and no one can change that. I encourage all of you to move out into the legal community with confidence and bravery and to do what you want to do with your law degree, regardless of what anyone else may tell say you should be doing with it.  You stepped onto an untrodden path once and you can do it again!  Keep on making your own path!
Your Forever Dean Ortiz

When I think of the class of 2012, I think of how proud I am that they will be the first class to represent UCI as alumni. They have done so much to establish our law school and I look forward to the amazing things they will continue to achieve in the future.
Andrea LaFountain, Class of 2013

I think of a cue ball that has built up momentum, causing a chain reaction of movement in many directions. Your academic strength, social commitment, and political energy will continue to move for many years to come. Best wishes to c/o 2012! 
Erica Choi, Class of 2014

I think of the great Dorothy Parker’s mediations on the “Post-Graduate”, which encapsulates the celebratory, yet bittersweet nature of the 3L graduation, and the appreciation we hold for everything the C/O 2012 has done for this school–and us:
Hope it was that tutored me,
And Love that taught me more;
And now I learn at Sorrow’s knee
The self-same lore.

–Post-Graduate, Dorothy Parker
Christina Chen, Class of 2013

It is a real joy to work alongside UCI Law students, because they constantly exceed my expectations as we do our best together to recruit the ideal students to attend UCI Law. The Class of 2012 set a high threshold when working with the Admissions office, and because of their example, the other classes have maintained that tradition of involvement and engagement with applicants and newly admitted students. I am grateful for our wonderful students, as they make my job fun (and much easier!). It gives me great satisfaction to see the surprise and excitement on visitors’ faces after they’ve spent time with our students. UCI Law is truly a special law school, and much of that is reflected in the friendly, supportive environment that the Class of 2012 established early. I appreciate the inaugural class for setting such a wonderful precedent of commitment and service. Whether they’ve attended events with me (sometimes several hours away), accompanied visitors to class, offered tours, or sat on the admissions committee; I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know a lot of our graduating students, and I count them amongst the best people I know. I look forward to the great careers awaiting them, and to further collaboration and friendship as we continue to build this institution.
Estuardo R. Ponciano, Assistant Director of Admissions

Dear Class of 2012,
On behalf of the Career Development Office, congratulations for helping to build our dream law school and then graduating from it!   This is not the the end but just the beginning of a different phase of building the school and we truly look forward to working closely with you toward that goal. One of the experiences I enjoyed the most as a practicing attorney was helping law clerks develop into lawyers and it is one of the many reasons I joined the UCI Law community.  As you know, the community will always be here to support you and looks forward to all the amazing work you will do on behalf of individuals, corporations, and government agencies! I will leave you with a phrase that has helped me through the darkest hours of my legal career when cases were falling apart and/or I was on the verge of losing faith in the legal process:  Ratio Est Legis Anima (Reason is the soul of law).
Highest Regards,
Charles Song, Director of Career Development

When I think of the Class of 2012 I am thankful. I am thankful to have begun my time at UCI Law in September 2009 with the inaugural class. I am thankful to have worked with such motivated (and nice!) individuals. I am thankful that people like them exist, who are genuinely enthusiastic about learning and making a difference. I am thankful and will miss their presence at UCI Law!
Kelly Swanholm, Career Development Coordinator

Although I am sad that you are leaving, I take comfort  that you are going out into the world and hope that you will make it a more just world. Some of you are already doing that on a daily basis. I am thrilled and grateful that my first-year as a full-time teacher was shared with such a fabulous group of students.  I am thrilled and grateful that so many of you still want to make the world a better place. I am thrilled and grateful that so many of you still have the ability to laugh and even the energy to put on a law musical right before the start of your last set of final exams. I am thrilled that you will be spreading the school’s wings and reputation to cities throughout the country and beyond, including Anchorage, Baltimore, Houston, Huntsville, Las Vegas, Louisville, Nashville, New York, Phoenix, Singapore and Sydney, among other places. I will truly miss your smiling, energetic, occasionally skeptical faces in the classroom, the courtyard and at the guest speaker programs. And I am grateful that I got to SHARE the experience of being a pioneer with you.  You arrived here three years ago hoping for an exciting, rewarding challenge. You leave having played an instrumental role in the creation of what could become a great law school.  I look forward to seeing you in the future. You will always be in my heart.
Professor Henry Weinstein

…”Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
It has been a pleasure and an honor to have assisted you during your time here. I am sad to see you go and will miss you all.  I am so proud of what you have accomplished and I can’t wait to see what the future brings for each and every one of you.  I feel like I’m pushing you all out of the nest.  Spread your wings and fly! 
Debbie Mondares, Student Services Coordinator