I write today to relate some exciting new developments in our “reboot” of legal education. Today’s announcement involves the Office of Communications & Public Affairs.
The work of this office is crucial to the success our plan. Communications is directly responsible for marketing efforts to elevate UC Hastings’ regional, national, and international profile. Their mission is to build UC Hastings’ reputation and communicate our vision and value to internal and external audiences, including current and prospective students, faculty and staff, recruiters, alumni, donors, media, bench, bar, and academia.
Communications has three main goals moving forward:
To achieve success against these goals, we have “rebooted” the structure and staffing of the Communications office:
Effective June 1st, Alex A.G. Shapiro has assumed the role of Acting Director of Communications. He has been doing a superb job in his role of Communications Manager. The incredible media attention the school has received of late is due in no small part to his hard work. Coverage continues to be fueled by the advances he’s led promoting the school via social media and email marketing. Alex is also the guy behind the production of our upcoming video interview series aimed at promoting the engaged and influential scholarship produced at UC Hastings (inspired by Professor Evan Lee and Strategic Goal #2). And he is leading a complete gut-rehab of the UC Hastings website, set to launch this fall – watch for an announcement about one more session with stakeholders to offer input.
I have charged Alex with leading all branding, integrated marketing, communications, public relations, and marketing strategy efforts for the college and all its constituent programs, including the full-time JD, LL.M, MSL, Summer Institute, and Distance Learning.
We are very fortunate to have Alex working for UC Hastings. He came to the college in December of 2010 with 15 years of experience in communications, including five years most recently as the Director of Research, Planning, and Marketing for the Illinois Arts Council in Chicago. As importantly, perhaps, he has a sunny disposition, loves working with others, and claims to shake the best Manhattan west of the Mississippi. Alex encourages everyone to bombard him with great ideas related to our vision, value, and reputation. And if you have not yet joined UC Hastings on Facebook and Twitter, he encourages you to click on the preceding links to do so immediately.
Note: Also as of June 1st, Michael Trevino is on Family leave status. Please continue to direct all media inquiries and communications related messages directly to Alex.
On August 1st, the Office of Communications & Public Affairs will welcome Ami Dodson as the new Acting Editorial Director. Ami comes to UC Hastings College of the Law with nearly 15 years of Communications experience in both academic and business settings. Most recently she was the Associate Director of Communications at William & Mary Law School in Williamsburg, VA, where she focused on promoting and publicizing faculty achievements. She has worked for Duke University Press and Carolina Academic Press in Durham, NC, and Business Publishers, Inc. in Washington, DC. She has a JD and a Masters in English Literature from Duke University and a BA in Writing from Trinity College.
Ami will lead the production of the UC Hastings Magazine and oversee the development of all UC Hastings print communications, working with faculty, staff, centers, clinics, and student organizations to ensure consistency and adherence to visual identity standards. She will also be mining all aspects of the UC Hastings community experience (student, faculty, alumni, career development, events, neighborhood, etc.) for use in print publications and online. This position reports to and works together with the Director of Communications & Public Affairs in developing, planning, directing and implementing the editorial and content strategy for UC Hastings.
Originally from Portland, Oregon, Ami is excited to be returning to the West Coast. “I am delighted to be joining the UC Hastings team,” she says, “and I look forward to building relationships with the talented faculty, dedicated administrators, distinguished alumni and bright students that comprise the UC Hastings community.”
The Communications office has also recently brought in Susan Kostal to fill the halftime position of Senior Communications Writer. The Senior Communications Writer’s primary duty is to write and edit news and features for periodical print and online publications, including the alumni magazine and the website. Susan’s expertise is in legal affairs journalism, marketing and public relations. She is an award-winning writer (two-time winner of State Bar of California’s award for legal reporting; three-time winner of Associated Press California/Nevada awards for business reporting, news reporting and investigative reporting; among others) and has worked with law firms, legal publishers, legal nonprofits, and professional services firms to perfect their marketing plans and hone messages to clients. Susan will be actively involved in the editorial development of print and electronic communications from concept to completion, and will strive to ensure that all communications conform to rigorous editorial standards. “I take a very broad view of the legal marketplace and the economy,” says Susan. “We can’t just be what people are talking about today. We have to be what they will be talking about tomorrow.”
We are moving forward on a bold strategic plan at UC Hastings. I invite you to join me in welcoming Ami in August, Susan today (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Alex (email@example.com) in his newly expanded role.