Mirella Nieto ’14 started doing cartwheels outside her office. Ksenia Maiorova ’07 burst into tears in a library computer lab. Maysa Eissa Nichter ’06 jumped and screamed with joy—prompting the young girl she was babysitting to jump and scream with her.
Edward Tom has made the phone call thousands of times. But the reactions are wonderfully unique from those who get the good news: “You’ve been admitted to Berkeley Law.”
Some flat-out lose their minds. Some, perhaps trying to project a poised lawyer-in-training, respond more calmly. And some are literally too overwhelmed for words.
Walking to class at Cal when her phone rang, Sara Dorosti ’11 was promptly reduced to three letters.
“Ed: ‘Hi, Sara, this is Ed Tom.’ Me: ‘OMG, OMG.’ Ed: ‘Do you know why I’m calling?’ Me: ‘OMG, OMG.’ Ed: ‘You got into Berkeley Law.’ Me: ‘OMG, OMG.’ Ed: ‘Now go celebrate.’ Me: ‘OMG … thank you.’”
“That was the entire conversation,” Dorosti says. “I remember it as if it was yesterday. One of the best days of my life.”
Sometimes, the ensuing conversation is even more monumental. After all, many admits are also weighing offers from other top schools.
“I was undecided,” David Abella ’10 says. “Dean Tom told me to come to Admit Day and that it would help me make up my mind. After visiting the campus and meeting with students, faculty, and staff, there was no doubt in my heart where I needed to go to law school.”
Natasha Arora ’15 still has a phone screenshot of Tom’s 2012 email confirming her acceptance. “I wanted to remember the day,” she says. “I thought the call might have been a dream, but then this email solidified it. … I’m so thankful to Dean Tom for everything he did for me and so many other young adults wanting to make even the smallest difference in our legal community.”
While reactions vary, everyone seems to remember where the call from Tom happened. “On my way to a dining hall … Helping with an immigration workshop … With my grandmother at a doctor’s appointment … Jogging on the UVA campus … At a Caribou Coffee.”
Hamada Zahawi ’08 had just returned from Carnival in Brazil “having lost all hope of getting into a great law school.”
“Then I landed at LAX, listened to my messages, and heard Dean Tom’s voice saying I got in,” Zahawi says. “That call made me happier than anything I felt on that epic trip to Brazil. And that’s a tall order!”