2015 Alumni Award Winners

Whittier Law School Alum Nick KhanAttorney of the Year Award:
Nick Khan, Class of ‘00

Nick Khan graduated from UNLV with a degree in political science, and graduated from Whittier Law School magna cum laude in 2000. At Whittier Law School he was an editor for the Whittier Law Review, a member of the Trial Advocacy Honors Board, and took first place overall in the Gail Sonnenberg annual Moot Court competition. He also received two American Jurisprudence awards in Corporations and Legal Skills. After graduation, he went on Wheel of Fortune and won $16,500 – more than enough for the bar prep course and living expenses while studying for the bar.

Nick has created a unique and special niche for himself in the popular entertainment industry.

After working as a practicing attorney for seven years after graduation, he became a talent agent in 2007. In 2012, he joined Creative Artists Agency, which is widely considered the premier talent agency in the world, with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Beijing, London and Nashville. In a relatively short amount of time, he has established himself as one of the foremost television agents, with a special emphasis on sports broadcasters. His clients include Keith Olbermann, Kirk Herbstreit and Tim Tebow, among others.

Nick’s success is distinctive and worthy of recognition, as he has paved his own way in the hyper-competitive entertainment industry. His prominence in his field is especially significant because it is a rarefied area to which many future lawyers aspire.

Whittier Law School Alum Taylor DudleyOutstanding Young Alumni Award:
Taylor Dudley, Class of ‘10

Even though she graduated five years ago, Taylor Dudley has been an advocate for our nation’s most vulnerable children for over ten years. As an undergraduate, Taylor volunteered with the Child Abuse Services Team at the Orange County DA for three years, which affirmed her lifelong commitment to improving child welfare. While at Whittier Law School, Taylor was a fellow for the Center for Children’s Rights and worked with the Public Counsel Children’s Rights Project, the Special Education Clinic, the California Attorney General and the Honorable David O. Carter. In 2010, Taylor was the Robin Nash Postgraduate Fellow-in-Law at the Emory University School of Law’s Barton Child Law and Policy Center.

In 2011, Taylor became a staff attorney at the Alliance for Children’s Rights in Los Angeles. Taylor manages a medical-legal partnership within the Violence Intervention Program at LAC+USC Medical Center. The program addresses a range of legal issues for abused and neglected children, including access to special education, guardianship and adoption. Taylor is also an adjunct professor for Whittier Law School’s Center for Children’s Rights, where she teaches juvenile law and writes the National Juvenile Law Moot Court Competition problem on an annual basis. Taylor is also a member of the Young Professionals Board for KIPP LA Schools, a network of free, public charter schools in South and East Los Angeles.

Taylor is happiest when she’s working alongside the hopeful and inspiring children she is honored to represent, and deeply grateful for the everyday joy they infuse into her life.

Whittier Law School Alum Andrew Lorenzen-StraitDistinguished Alumni Service Award:
Andrew Lorenzen-Strait, Class of ‘03

Andrew Lorenzen-Strait is the Deputy Assistant Director for the Custody Programs Division, Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Washington, D.C.

Andrew joined U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in 2008, and in 2012 he was named as the first Public Advocate for the organization. He also served as ICE’s senior advisor for detention management, where he advised on policy and oversight for the administrative custody of an average of 400,000 detainees each year, and led efforts to reform the current immigration civil detention system.

As the Deputy Assistant Director for Custody Programs, Andrew manages ERO’s community support release programs, leads ERO’s implementation of the Prison Rape Elimination Act requirements, oversees custody programs and reform efforts that prioritize the health, safety, and welfare of those in immigration custody, including lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgenderindividuals, serves as the national ICE Parental Rights Coordinator, and manages the agency’s Detention Reporting and Information Line. In addition, he oversees ERO’s legal, language, and disability access programs.

Prior to joining ICE, Andrew worked in a variety of other federal law enforcement agencies, including service as a senior advisor for the U.S. Secret Service, and as a Presidential Management Fellow for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. In 2007, Andrew was named the Maryland Attorney of the Year for providing pro bono services to Community Legal Services of Prince George’s County. In 2014, he joined the American Bar Association’s Committee on Corrections as a government advisor.

Whittier Law School Professor of the Year Andrea FunkProfessor of the Year Award:
Andrea Funk, Associate Dean for Lawyering Skills and Institutional Assessment and Professor of Lawyering Skills

After graduating from UCLA School of Law, Andrea Susnir Funk clerked for a federal district court judge, and then practiced law in both state and federal courts for six years. She joined the faculty at Whittier Law School in 1997, served as a full-time legal writing professor for three years, and has directed the Lawyering Skills Institute since 2000.

Dean Funk’s passion is teaching students how to practice law. To that end, she has designed and implemented a comprehensive legal writing and professional skills curriculum that prepares students to transition from student to lawyer. Dean Funk believes that lawyers must write well and act professionally. Through the Lawyering Skills Institute, her goal is to impress the importance of these two principles upon her students with the hope that they will carry them into practice — and to life — once they graduate.

A dedicated proponent of assessment in legal education, Dean Funk has focused her recent energies on the rapidly developing area of law school assessment. She has shared her experience with the legal community through her publications, presentations, and service on both national and institutional committees.