Wednesday, September 25, 2013

          Surviving the 65 Club: One Alumnus' Generosity Begets Another's

          Kris Whitten '73 recalls a kindly (if quirky) alumnus' lifesaving tutorials with a gift to UC Hastings.
          Kris Whitten '73

          Kris Whitten '73

          In the ’60s and ’70s, UC Hastings was renowned for its 65 Club, faculty who had reached mandatory retirement age elsewhere and continued their careers at the law school. Among students, the 65 Club was awe-inspiring, but the professors could be intimidating.

          “Most of the big schools used the Socratic method: We were supposed to find our own answers,” says Kris Whitten ’73. “We were terrified. The professors were brilliant, but they believed that was how you trained lawyers because that’s how they were trained.”

          Lucky for Whitten and his classmates, “this little leprechaun-type person dropped out of the sky and let us know it was going to be OK.” At the time, Jerome Sack ’48 was dean of Lincoln Law School, but once a week or so, he put on his trademark beret and headed to a slightly seedy storefront in the Tenderloin. There, he offered tutorials to UC Hastings students between telling war stories and chewing on cigars. The cost per student: $1 a session. Whitten never knew why Sack bothered: “He took pity on us, I guess, and God bless him. The gift he gave us was explaining these concepts in plain English.”

          After graduation, Whitten clerked for a federal judge, worked at a law firm, and then went in-house at Bank of America. Since 1999, he has been a deputy attorney general specializing in business and tax issues. This year, as he commemorates his 40th reunion, he has started a scholarship fund in Sack’s name. His hope is that other alumni will chip in enough to establish a permanent scholarship, with the money going to students who help their first-year peers “not give up on the law”—just like the godsend dean who helped Whitten and his petrified friends.

          Read more from UC Hastings magazine here.

          Go to News Archive

          Share this Story

          Share via Facebook
          Share via TwitterShare via EmailPrint Friendly Version

          Other Recent Stories/ RSS

          Friday, October 21, 2016

          Innovative gift from tech startup accelerator Hackers/Founders supports UC Hastings Startup Legal Garage

          “It's very often that startups push the boundaries and definitions of laws written decades or centuries earlier," says Hackers/Founders CEO Jonathan Nelson. "Being able to face these issues with a law school that's doing cutting-edge work is invaluable.”
          Tuesday, October 18, 2016

          Tenderloin Community Benefit District Appoints UC Hastings 3L to Board of Directors

          Improving the sidewalks means more than cleaning services, says 3L Peter Stevens, tenants rights advocate and proud Tenderloin resident.
          Monday, October 10, 2016

          2L Briana Desch spearheads new Tenderloin Community Outreach Board for ASUCH

          Student task force dedicated to establishing relationships with the Tenderloin community.
          Monday, October 10, 2016

          Manuel v. City of Joliet: Don’t forget “unreasonable” in the Fourth Amendment

          Analysis by Professor Rory Little
          Friday, October 07, 2016

          Kevin King ’15 finds his voice arguing before the First District Court of Appeal

          "I came to law school to become a social justice advocate and now I’m armed to build a better tomorrow." - Lawyers for America Fellow Kevin King, Class of 2015
          Go to News Archive