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Best Comments from Volume One of Trial & Error by Arthur Campbell (October 2020)

“When I decided to go to law school, I knew it would be hard. I knew I would be facing a system that did not have the same interests as I did. I wanted to go for the people; I wanted to gain the knowledge I’d need to be their most effective advocate . . . . I  kept asking myself how I would gain the courage to relentlessly stand up to a system much stronger and louder than me, with more power than I’d ever be able to wield. Then I read Volume One of Trial & Error and found my answers…. Your efforts in [one of the episodes] solidified [my sense] that the people in positions of power in the criminal justice system use and abuse that power every day, but it’s a signal to persistently fight back, never to stand down.” — Anna Hancock

“This book is filled with emotions, from humor, to compassion, to lighthearted moments that appeal to our emotions . . . . I laughed, I cried, I shouted, and not once did I put that book down once I opened it.”  — Rivai Oraha

“My greatest fear in pursuing a career in law is reconciling my empathetic nature with my notions of justice. Trial & Error bridged the gap between the two in passages I will come to revisit and revitalize in my eventual practice.” — Maliat Chowdhury

“When people ask me what kind of lawyer I want to be, my answer is typically, ‘Ideally I would go into politics, constitutional law, working for the government, and fighting for human rights.’ Before reading [an episode in Trial & Error], I had never thought criminal law fit into that answer. I now know otherwise . . . . I have hope for our future, and this volume reminded me of why I wanted to start law school in the first place.” — Livia Stahle

“Campbell’s first volume of Trial & Error is more than authentic. It is the rarest ruby of knowledge you will never find elsewhere . . . . With or without a law background, the insight you will gain from this book is limitless. I don’t think I have ever read a book so fast!” — Brooke Baeyens

“I found each chapter to be filled with real life experiences that were not only entertaining, but laced with invaluable insight that address common misconceptions in criminal law not always explicitly taught in traditional school settings.” 
— Alyssa Manzo

“Mr. Campbell shows here, and throughout the book, his inner thoughts, his inner anxieties, his ‘what-ifs,’ and honestly it is relieving. So often in society we are told to move on, but until we analyze what irked us in the first place, we cannot learn, and we most definitely cannot move on. The advice and emotion . . . will stay with me as I embark on my journey in the world of criminal law.” — Luciana Roble

“In law school, most of us think that we’re going to change the system and ring the bell of justice. I really appreciated how the episodes went through the change in strategy from bright -eyed lawyer fresh out of law school with the same thoughts, to a more experienced, pragmatic attorney who balanced hope with realism. The practicality aspect of the job is difficult to take hold of as a student, but this book has helped prepare me to grasp that.”  — Stacy Thumsuden

“[T] he idea of the client’s life in my own hands is scary. It does not have to be a death case for me to recognize this is their life and freedom. [A particular episode] does a great job expressing that uncertainty, and how real-life lessons show us that book smarts do not always equal street smarts. What we learn in the classroom is the start of our education; not the end of it . . . .” — Nicole Tamez

“[One particular episode] really made me understand that, as soon-to-be lawyers, justice is not always about getting your clients off all charges and allowing them to walk freely into the sunset; but instead getting them the help they need to turn their lives around even after the gavel hits the panel . . . . This institution of ours has continuously perceived that the law is either black or white: you are either guilty or innocent. But when did we stop realizing that a lot of our human actions can be filled within the grey?”  — Alexis Caprice Garcia

“The first volume … is a candid and chaotic story of the journey of a burgeoning freedom lawyer bursting at the seams with enthusiasm for justice…. While this journey begins with brief episodes where Campbell is stymied by small town judges and abuses of small-town political power, along the way Campbell hones his skills by taking his licks and learning to roll with the punches…. [T]he development of his legal prowess paints an informative and cautionary tale about the realities of the criminal justice system respective of the defense…. Campbell’s insistence on continuous introspection post-defeat was a testament to his commitment as a student of the law and insightful for current law students. [His] recollection is very insightful on the human aspect of law, whether it be from the perspective of the defense, judges, prosecution or other people at play. [Moreover,] Campbell displays an often-comedic analysis of the different personal and political factors [involved in the criminal-process system].” –- John Kelly

“[Volume One] provides a clear picture into the realities of being a young and inexperienced criminal defense lawyer and the learning process that happens along the way.”  — Alexandra Demastrie

“At its core, Professor Campbell provides a human element to the law . . . .” 

— Brooke Miles

“Overall, this collection was extremely well done, and each story became more intoxicating as I read it, making it nearly impossible for me to put this book down.”

– Benjamin Lowenberg

Fall 2019, Issue #1 (10/1/19)

The Road to Renewables: Climate Week from San Diego to New York
By Matthew Batista
From California Western to California Congress
By Nicolas Ahadzadeh
Lending a Helping ‘Learned’ Hand
By Nicolas Ahadzadeh
El Paso is Your Fault. El Paso is My Fault.
By Abril Perez
Help the Turtles, Help the Earth!
By Varun Sabharwal
It’s My Money, and I Need it Now!
By Vincent Chiaverini
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In this new edition of The Commentary:

The Road to Renewables: Climate Week from San Diego to New York 

From California Western to California Congress 

Lending a Helping ‘Learned’ Hand

El Paso is Your Fault. El Paso is My Fault. 

Help the Turtles, Help the Earth!

It’s My Money and I Need it Now! 


Student writers are what make The Commentary so great! We are always looking for students to submit articles on topics of their choice—including, but not limited to: campus news, legal news, sports, entertainment, etc. No long-term commitment is required, so feel free to submit a draft and share your academic/creative talents with the campus community when you’re not out fighting crimes, going to class, or studying in the library! We also have meetings with free food! 🙂

To learn how to contribute to The Commentary this trimester, contact us at for submissions and questions/story ideas.

Tandis Taghavi & Parsa Nozzari, Editors-in-Chief

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)