Category: Legal News/Opinions

Join the ABA! Message from Cal Western’s ABA representative

By Nick Aliquo, SBA American Bar Association Representative

Nick Aliquo

Hello everyone! My name is Nicholas Aliquo and I am your American Bar Association (ABA) Representative here at California Western. I’m assuming most of you, if not, all of you know that one of the many perks of attending California Western is that we are an ABA-accredited law school. However, not all students actually know what the ABA is and what the ABA can do for you. My job is to help fix that.

The American Bar Association is one of the world’s largest voluntary professional organizations, with over 400,000 members. There are 205 institutions that are ABA approved. The ABA is committed to serving its members, improving the legal profession, eliminating bias and enhancing diversity as well as advancing the rule of law throughout the United States and around the world. Membership is open to law students (hey that’s you!), lawyers (that will soon be you) and those just curious and interested in the legal profession (hopefully you). Now I know you’re wondering: okay, this all sounds great, but why should I care about these three letters or three words? Well, let me tell you! Continue reading “Join the ABA! Message from Cal Western’s ABA representative”

9 tips on how to rock the interview

By Matthew Lab, Assistant Director of Career and Professional Development Office

Let’s face it: law job interviews can be stressful, especially for the uninitiated.  Now that the spring recruiting season is upon us, many of you have already or will soon interview for legal internships or post-graduate positions.  So, why do employers interview?  Isn’t your brilliant cover letter and resume enough to convince them that you are the perfect candidate?  Not likely.

Employers interview simply because the information presented in your application materials only presents a “snapshot” of the candidate, which by its nature cannot accurately reflect the entire person. Meeting a candidate allows the interviewer to confirm his or her initial impressions as to your qualifications and to evaluate how you will perform tasks, respond to clients, and how well you will fit in and work with the rest of the team. Keep in mind that an interview is nothing more than a focused “conversation.”  As such, students need to express their value and indicate what sets them apart from other candidates. The following tips should increase your chances of a successful conversation. Continue reading “9 tips on how to rock the interview”

Academic Achievement: 7 Tips for Planning Forward after Grades Release

By Shane Dizon, Assistant Dean for Academic Achievementshane_dizon

If you’re reading this, you’re about to look up your grades or already have. If you’re in the former camp, take a deep breath. Remember, you’ve accomplished a lot thus far, and you’re still the same good human being before or after. If you’re in the latter camp . . . well, do exactly what I just said anyways.

It occurred to me that I could just write some improvisation on the good old “7 Stages of Grief” – shock, denial, bargaining, guilt, anger, depression, hope – but that’s probably not why you’re here. So I want to honor your experience and try to modify that message to law school. Continue reading “Academic Achievement: 7 Tips for Planning Forward after Grades Release”

SBA VP’s announcements

Valerie photo

By Valerie Gurrola, Student Bar Association Vice President


Between now and Jan. 30, email your nominations for Professor of the Year, Adjunct Professor of the Year, and Staff Member of the Year to Students are asked to submit one nomination per category. These awards are determined entirely by student votes, and the winners will be announced at Barrister’s Ball on Mar. 3, so be sure to make your vote count! Based on the nominations, SBA will release a final ballot with several candidates per category in early February.


If you want to attend Barrister’s Ball but were not able to get a ticket, please email as soon as possible to reserve your spot on the wait list. In your email, include the number of tickets you would like (up to 2) and any dietary restrictions. Based on the number of wait-listed students, SBA may be able to secure extra tickets from the venue. More information will come soon!

As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions regarding faculty/staff awards, Barrister’s Ball wait list, or other SBA-related matters. Have a great spring trimester!

Contact Valerie Gurrola at


Finals advice from Academic Achievement

By Shane Dizon, Assistant Dean for Academic Achievementshane_dizon

With November upon us, the specter of final exams looms large. Here are nine tips to ensure that your hard work does not go for naught come December, and that you are building the skills needed for consistent success on both law school exams and on the bar exam.

1 ~ Schedule and adjust

An expert law student wins the scheduling battle at the daily, weekly, and big-picture levels. Consistently create and refine a study schedule at the daily and weekly levels. Always assess the schedule at the end of each day and make the necessary adjustments. Not doing everything you planned is not per se a bad thing, but not adjusting after falling short is. Continue reading “Finals advice from Academic Achievement”

Letter from SBA President

Jesse photoHello, Cal Westerners! Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year. My name is Jesse Schram, and it is my pleasure to serve as your Student Bar Association President.

SBA’s duty is to ensure that every student’s voice will be listened to and subsequently acted upon. We are the link between the student body and our school’s administration, faculty, and alumni. We encourage every student to contribute to our school’s decisions, to attend networking events and other functions, and to utilize the resources offered by various Cal Western departments. I greatly urge everyone to join at least one student organization and to contribute to SBA’s mission to improve our school.

We are a tight community here at Cal Western. We are a diverse group of like-minded individuals who learn together, work together, and grow together. I look forward to a unified effort to elevate Cal Western’s positive environment, reputation, and prestige.

This is our school, this is our future, and this is our SBA. Let’s get after it!

Contact Jesse Schram at


Professors give insight into 2017-18 Supreme Court docket

By Sara Gold, Editor-in-Chief

California Western professors provided insight into the 2017-2018 Supreme Court docket at a panel discussion Friday, Sept. 29 in the Auditorium. The event, hosted by the CWSL American Constitution Society and the CWSL Federalist Society chapter, featured presentations by current professors Glenn Smith, William Aceves, and Jessica Fink, along with emeritus professor Michal Belknap.

“The students got a macro appreciation for the kinds of cases before the Supreme Court and a clear, but not simplistic, micro assessment of the context behind and legal issues at stake in some of the most controversial and high-profile constitutional disputes on the Court’s docket,” said Prof. Smith, who organized the event.

Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project

This case surrounds President Trump’s latest travel ban, known as “Travel Ban 3.0,” originally set to take effect Oct. 18.

On Oct. 10, the Court dismissed Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project, on the basis that this lawsuit was moot because it contested the validity of Travel Ban 2.0, which expired in September. However, its companion case, Trump v. Hawaii, remains pending. On Oct. 17, the day before Travel Ban 3.0 was scheduled to enact, the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii granted a nationwide temporary restraining order blocking the travel ban until the Supreme Court reaches a decision. Continue reading “Professors give insight into 2017-18 Supreme Court docket”