The Berkeley Law Alumni Association is evolving beyond just a new name. Ten members are retiring this year from what was known as the Boalt Hall Alumni Association, opening the door for a fresh slate of voices on the law school’s advisory board.
Current board members are committed to recruiting a new crop of graduates who represent a diverse cross section of the Berkeley Law community.
“This is an exciting time for the law school. Under the leadership of Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, Berkeley Law is flourishing,” says board member Cara Sandberg ’12.
Pointing to the student body’s diversity—65 percent female, 42 percent people of color, many who were the first in their family to attend college—Sandberg says the Alumni Association should “reflect the current student population and include young alums who can share the central concerns and priorities of today’s students.”
This spring, the board approved revised bylaws and formed committees focused on admitted student outreach, mentorship, fundraising, and communications. One of the outreach committee’s first events, a brunch and alumni panel during Admitted Students Weekend, drew more than 100 potential Class of 2021 students from across the country.
“One of the greatest benefits Berkeley Law can offer prospective students is the support of its extensive alumni community,” says Sandberg, who organized the event. “Our graduates work in exciting and prestigious legal careers and use their law degrees in innovative ways.”
She adds that the Alumni Association recognizes the value of sharing this vast network so prospective students “can see the breadth of professional possibilities before them and start building connections to support them as students and graduates.”
A new board president will be elected in July to replace John Kuo ’88, who is nearing the end of his two-year term.
“I am immensely grateful to John Kuo and the board members of the Berkeley Law Alumni Association,” Chemerinsky says. In addition to the warm welcome and advice they provided to ease the new dean’s acclimation to the law school community, he is especially impressed by their ongoing dedication.
“They have significantly increased their volunteer and financial commitments to the law school, raised funds for new scholarships, and expanded the board’s role in mentoring students,” Chemerinsky notes. “I look forward to years of close collaboration as we continue the expansion of Berkeley Law’s role as the country’s preeminent public law school.”