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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Students Advocate for Public Interest, Public Service

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Students, alumni, and staff at the annual Day in Sacramento event.

“I wanted to go to Sacramento to advocate on behalf of UC Hastings students because I believe deeply in the public service mission of UC Hastings.” - 2L Jessie Cassella, Local Government Chair of the Hastings Advocacy Committee (HAC), President of the Hastings Government Law Organization (GLO), and one of the organizers of the recent Day in Sacramento.

The “Day in Sacramento,” now an annual event, has three goals: 1) to engage legislators in discussing UC Hastings and its mission as a public law school, 2) educate lawyers who will serve the legal needs of all Californians, and 3) to continue UC Hastings’ venerable legacy of producing leaders of the bar, the private sector, and government.

“UC Hastings students who are committed to public service and public interest are extremely passionate about the work that they do,” said Cassella, “and it is vital that we ensure a sound financial future for them and many others who will dedicate their lives to improving the lives of others.”

UC Hastings advocacy teams meeting with legislators and staff.

UC Hastings advocacy teams spent the day meeting with legislators and staff.

UC Hastings Board of Director Mary Noel Pepys joined this year’s event and participated in several of the meetings. “This is what’s great about UC Hastings,” said Pepys. “Two words: public interest.”

“It’s great what you guys are doing,” agreed one Senate Fellow who met with students. “I really like the focus on public service.”

Advocates kicked off the event in the State Capitol meeting over a continental breakfast in the café in the basement level of the restored building. Chancellor & Dean Frank H. Wu then provided an overview briefing and assignments were given to the UC Hastings advocacy teams who spent the day meeting with legislators and staff. At day's end, students had conducted more than thirty meetings.

UC Hastings sponsored this event in collaboration with partner student organizations ASUCH and the Hastings Advocacy Committee. The Hastings Government Law Organization also provided support, and Joseph J. Babich ’80 hosted a lively reception and debriefing at the Sutter Club.

"It was an amazing experience to advocate in Sacramento on behalf of UC Hastings students and educate legislators and their staff about the great public interest work that UC Hastings students do,” said Cassella. “We received a lot of positive feedback because they know that UC Hastings is the law school for those who want to pursue careers in public service and public interest."

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