SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced the appointment of Mary Noel Pepys to the UC Hastings College of the Law Board of Directors.
"On behalf of the entire community of the UC Hastings College of the Law, I am extremely pleased to welcome Mary Noel Pepys to the Board of Directors," said Donald Bradley '68, Chair of the Board. "Her broad experience in both public and private sectors in the field of international legal and judicial reform will be a great addition to the Board. With her strong sense of volunteerism, I am sure she will play an active role in the Board's work in implementing the school's bold new strategic plan and reshaping legal education in America."
Mary Noel Pepys has significant years of legal experience in the private and public sectors. She has worked for the past twenty years, since 1993, as an international rule of law attorney helping emerging democracies develop justice systems that ensure the basic principles of the protection of citizens’ human rights, equal treatment of all individuals before the law, and a predictable legal structure with fair, transparent and effective government institutions are developed. Pepys has worked in over 40 countries, lived five years in former communist countries, and more recently lived in Afghanistan for almost two years where she served as the Justice Advisor at the U.S. Embassy from 2008 to 2009.
Previously, from 1984 to 1993, Pepys worked at Heller, Ehrman, White and McAuliffe and later at her own law firm as a land use attorney. From 1982 to 1984, she served as a legal officer for the international peacekeeping force, Multinational Force and Observers, headquartered in Rome, which oversees the security arrangements of the 1978 Camp David Peace Accords. Prior to that, Pepys worked in Washington, D.C., as the Special Assistant to Ambassador Daniel J. Terra at the Department of State from 1981 to 1982, and for Congressman Henry S. Reuss, Chairman of the Committee on Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs, from 1980 to 1981. She served as a law clerk to Justice Thomas A. Caldecott, Presiding Justice of the California Court of Appeal, from 1978 to 1979. Pepys earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California Hastings College of the Law, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from San Jose State University.
“Having graduated from UC Hastings College of the Law with a desire to practice land use law, but instead developing an expertise in enhancing the rule of law internationally, a specialty that didn’t exist at the time of my graduation, I attribute the opportunity to follow my professional passion to the excellent legal education I received at UC Hastings,” says Pepys. “I look forward to serving on the Board of Directors and ensuring that other UC Hastings students receive a similar education so they may follow their professional passions as well.”
“We welcome Mary Noel Pepys to the Board of Directors,” says UC Hastings Chancellor & Dean Frank H. Wu. "The breadth and depth of her successful legal experience at home and abroad is nothing short of inspiring. UC Hastings has had an extraordinary year of adaptation, and we look forward to Mary Noel's contributions as we proceed in rebooting legal education."
“Mary Noel represents the very best we have in the American legal tradition,” said former United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, referring to Mary Noel’s service with the ABA CEELI program. “She has that spirit of volunteerism that sets us apart. She’s been an exceedingly successful motivator of people even in cultures far removed from her own. She is going to be able to look back in her life and know that the work she has done has made a difference in the world.”
University of California Hastings College of the Law was established by statute in 1878 and is governed by a Board of Directors. With the exception of one Board member who, as specified by statute, shall always be an heir or representative of Serranus Clinton Hastings, the members of the Board are appointed by the Governor of the State of California, confirmed by the State Senate and serve for 12 years.