Spring 2019, Issue #3 (4/10/19)

From Sara Gold -- The Commentary 2017-present
Opinion: Kaepernick ousted from NFL for exercising free speech
By Francis Carlota
Student perspective: Advice for finals preparation
By Nick Ahadzadeh, News Editor, & Ryan Stygar
Fun after finals: Speakeasies around San Diego
By Jennifer Brown
Petition to continue environmental law classes at CWSL
By Breanna Hayes, News Editor
POLL: Which professor would survive a zombie apocalypse?
3L team wins CWSL basketball championship!
By Kianna Williams, SBA Intramurals Director
Law Review/ILJ news: New boards & symposium
By Lindsey Cherpes
The Courtroom is my Playfield: Moot Court news
By Varun Sabharwal, Entertainment Editor
Law meets fiction: Batman oral arguments, student publishes novel
By Sara Gold, Editor-in-Chief
Health in Law School
By Brandon Birungi-Sengendo, Managing Editor
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We’re excited to present our biggest Commentary edition yet, along with our new Editorial Board for 2019-2020! Be sure to check out our new Staff Page.


PROFESSOR POLL: Which CWSL professor would be the most likely to survive a zombie apocalypse? Find out what the faculty had to say, and then vote for your choice!

Exam Preparation: Nick Ahadzadeh and Ryan Stygar share their advice for smart studying and self-care during exams.

The Commentary 2017-2019: Fun facts and history of the online Commentary

Health in Law School

Campus News

Fate of Environmental Law Classes Uncertain — Students can sign a petition to reinstate environmental law curriculum

Moot Court News — This trimester, more than 20 students competed against other law schools in trial, appellate, and alternative dispute resolution competitions

Law Review/ILJ News — Cal Western’s law journals hosted a successful and impactful symposium on immigration law and policy


Law Meets Fiction: Ching-Yun Li and Claudia Salinas defended Arkham Asylum in a Batman-themed oral argument, & Ryan Stygar just published his third novel!

Fun After Finals — Jennifer Brown reviews her favorite local speakeasies around San Diego


Basketball Intramurals — The championship game ended in a 55-54 final score. Find out which team won!

Francis Carlota on the Kneeling Controversy — Colin Kaepernick was unfairly ousted from the NFL due to his symbolic protest of racial injustices

Best of luck on finals everyone! It has been our pleasure to serve the California Western community this year, and we look forward to your continued participation and support next year!

Sara Gold, Editor-in-Chief (2017-2019);
Tandis Taghavi, Editor-in-Chief (2018-present) & Parsa Nozzari, Editor-in-Chief (2019-present)


Students (and zombies, if you’ve read our zombie apocalypse poll)! Feeling a little tired? Need a little rush? PERFECT, now you can get a shot… Wait what?

Starting tonight, April 10, 2019, there will be evening and weekend coffee service available in the 350 building through April 19th!

Enjoy & good luck on finals 


From Sara Gold — The Commentary 2017-present

Dear Readers:

The Commentary has published 90 articles and has had over 16,000 site views since we went online in Fall 2017.

Thank you for reading and supporting The Commentary these past two years! The Commentary, which started at CWSL in 1973 as a print newspaper, entered a new era when we created the first-ever Commentary website in the Fall of 2017.

At the very beginning, we were truly a blank slate. We had no writers and no content — just an empty website with endless possibilities. And over time, those possibilities became realized. That started with our very first edition in November 2017, in which we were able to celebrate New Media Rights’ ten-year anniversary and the California Innocence Project’s exoneration of wrongfully convicted prisoners.

We had 5,800 site views during year one, and since then, that number has tripled!!! Admittedly, probably at least 1,000 of those views were from me proofreading the site obsessively. But at least a few of them were from a lovely woman who will be attending Cal Western in the fall as a 1L. I met her at the new students’ reception held a few weeks ago. Without knowing my involvement with The Commentary, she said she eagerly reads each new edition and that reading The Commentary made her excited to attend school here. This was the most amazing thing to hear. Further, it made me realize how valuable student journalism is in capturing the essence of what makes Cal Western such a special place, and preserving that impression as a legacy for future students and the larger legal community.

Continue reading “From Sara Gold — The Commentary 2017-present”

Health in Law School

By Brandon Birungi-Sengendo, Managing Editor

It’s April and for a lot us, whether we are 1Ls about to finish our first year in law school or 3Ls about to graduate, we are not in the same physical or mental shape as we were prior to law school. I am willing to admit that personally one of the biggest lows of my 1L year has been the realization of exactly how much weight I’ve gained over the course of it, putting me at the heaviest I’ve ever been. Now, don’t get me wrong — this is not an article to blame the institution of law school, as my choices are my own and I know there are people who have maintained a healthy lifestyle during the semester or even became healthier during that time. But I am going to be addressing the culture that seems to be in law schools all across the country.

The culture I am referring to is this “Pain is temporary, GPA is forever” mindset where we as students are willing to sacrifice our emotional, mental, and physical health for the sake of good grades. We will justify it by saying everything in law school is only temporary and after we graduate we can undo all of this. But let’s ask ourselves, how many of us have seen our classmates, friends, and even ourselves develop some form of health issue? How many of us have developed some form of depression or mental health due to prolonged stress? How many of us have developed some form of substance abuse during our time in law school?

Continue reading “Health in Law School”

Fun after finals — Speakeasies around San Diego

By Jennifer Brown

When we think of the Prohibition Era, we think of F. Scott Fitzgerald and his book The Great Gatsby, of speakeasies, flappers, partying, etc. It was time where women really became independent as a whole by being reckless and defying the status quo. It was a fascinating time, one that would be exciting to go back and live during, even for a day. For those of you that are fascinated with the events and trends that took place, which gave the era its infamous name, The Roaring 20’s, there are ways to relive that time today, in the 21st Century.

Many speakeasies are still open today, even some of the original ones that were open during the 1920’s. Of course, all are totally legal now, but it is still exciting to dress up in your 1920’s best and go to the speakeasies that exist today. San Diego is home to a few speakeasies and hidden bars that can satisfy your curiosity as to what life was like at the time.

Continue reading “Fun after finals — Speakeasies around San Diego”

Opinion: Kaepernick ousted from NFL for exercising free speech

By Francis Carlota

I have a question. First, I’ll give stats of a former NFL quarterback. Then you tell me if you think he’s good enough to be a current NFL quarterback. Keep in mind he is just 31 years old, only two seasons removed from playing professional football, has no criminal history of domestic violence or rape, no injury issues, and no substance abuse problems.

Stat 1: This player had a passer rating of 90.7 for the 2016-2017 season. This ranked 17th out of 47 quarterbacks who started an NFL game, higher than Philip Rivers, Carson Palmer, Jameis Winston, and Cam Newton.

Stat 2: Of all the former quarterbacks ever to throw the ball over 500 times, this player has the lowest interception percentage of all time, making him the most interception averse quarterback of all time. Only one other player, Aaron Rodgers, has more attempts and a lower interception percentage.

Now you tell me. Is this player good enough to be a current NFL quarterback at any level? Forget being a starter. But is he at least good enough to be a second or third-string quarterback? Yes. But shockingly, this player is no longer a quarterback in the NFL. Why?

Continue reading “Opinion: Kaepernick ousted from NFL for exercising free speech”

POLL: Which professor would survive a zombie apocalypse?

To be honest, The Commentary has almost run out of ways to reduce the stress around finals. This edition features a student-written column on exam hacks. In the past, we have posted advice from the experts on exam preparation. We have also debunked myths about the grading curve. Earlier this trimester, we even lightened the mood by sharing professors’ stories about their worst grade in law school.

The obvious next step? Pure escapism. This month, we polled the faculty on which colleague they’d rate the most likely to survive a ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE.

Read their nominations below, and then vote for your pick!

Continue reading “POLL: Which professor would survive a zombie apocalypse?”

The Courtroom is my Playfield: Moot Court news

By Varun Sabharwal, Entertainment Editor

California Western School of Law is home to an enviable history of producing fine oral advocates. From the tribulations of the jury box, to the finesse of standing at a lectern before judges of the Courts of Appeal, we’ve seen these advocates grow and learn. As members of the Moot Court Honors Board (MCHB), we’ve helped build the foundation for these advocates, when they were just law students. From organizing the Gafford competition for our 1L’s to administering the logistics for our competitive teams, at every step of the way, the MCHB has been there, ensuring that our school always puts its best foot forward.

Students excelled this trimester in both external (inter-school) and internal (intra-school) competitions:

Continue reading “The Courtroom is my Playfield: Moot Court news”

Law Review/ILJ news: New boards & symposium

By Lindsey Cherpes

New Editorial Boards

The California Western Law Review and International Law Journal are excited to announce their new editorial boards for 2019-2020!

Law Review: Samantha Sneen, Editor-in-Chief; Natalie Holtz, Executive Editor; Lindsey Cherpes, Executive Lead Articles Editor; Katherine Norton,
Executive Editor of Notes & Comments; Chelsea Staskiewicz,
Executive Director of Symposia & Outreach; Mollie Levy, Executive Director of Notes & Comments

International Law Journal: Rojina Haririparsa, Editor-in-Chief; Emily Ferman, Executive Editor; Mary Grace Jalandoni, Executive Lead Articles Editor; Carlos Gomez, Executive Editor of Notes & Comments; Sophia De La Rocha, Executive Director of Symposia & Outreach; Mollie Levy, Executive Director of Notes & Comments

Symposium: Border Myths

On Saturday, March 9, the journals hosted a symposium to explore myths surrounding America’s borders. The symposium, attended by about 150 people, featured a dynamic array of distinguished speakers. Meagan Nettles (ILJ’s Executive Director of Symposia & Outreach) and Janna Ferraro (Law Review’s Executive Director of Symposia & Outreach) coordinated the event, assisted by symposium committee members Ommar Chavez, Giovanni Dolleton, Elisa Pineda, Mark Simpliciano, and Amanda Thom.

Continue reading “Law Review/ILJ news: New boards & symposium”