Voices of Whittier Law School

Over the past days we have received hundreds of messages of support and friendship in the wake of the Whittier College Board of Trustees’ announcement that they had voted to discontinue our program of legal education. In the spirit of community we have always embraced, we share some of those messages below. If you would like to add your Voice, please email Dean Daar at jdaar@law.whittier.edu.

#whittierlawstrong


Dear Dean Daar,

I heard the news late yesterday. As you indicate in the statement below, I was very shocked! I am so sorry that the undergraduate College Board is no longer supportive of the law school but remain proud to be a Whittier grad. I am hopeful that you and the faculty are able to make them understand the gravity of this decision. I will pray for a positive outcome and know that the legacy of the law school will live on through your leadership and the good deeds of the faculty and the alum. Wishing the very best for the current students…

Sincerely yours,

Ursula L. Clemons, Presiding Judge
California Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board


Dean Daar,

I hope you are hanging in there. I like many in our Whittier family am stunned, angered, and heart broken by the reckless and heartless action taken by the Whittier College Board. I am proud to have received my law school education at Whittier—such a diverse amazing school. I believe my education and guidance at Whittier has uniquely prepared me to be a zealous advocate for my homeless and low income veteran clients. I want you to know I am dedicated to ensuring that Whittier Law School stays opens and continues to take new students.

I believe the Board did not even give you a chance to work on getting our bar pass rate up and making our law school more competitive. I hope the TRO does get granted against Whittier College and I believe it should also be looked into whether the Board violated their fiduciary duties to the law school.

I just want you to know that there are many Alumni like me committed to keeping Whittier Law School open to future attorney’s and anything I can do to help the cause please let me know. If it was not for Whittier Law School giving me a chance I would not be where I am today assisting hundreds of homeless and low income veterans.

Dean Daar, I respect and admire you greatly and have full faith in you and the law school administration in fighting this reckless and heartless action by the Whittier College Board of Trustees.

Regards,

Bryan Fazio J.D./ MBA/ MAOL
Veteran Legal Institute Law Clerk/Legal Aid Society Law Clerk
Snyder Law Consultant
Petty Officer Third Class Operation Specialist United States Navy-Ret.
Military and Veteran OCBA Committee Member
Brandman University Veteran Scholarship Board Member


Dean Daar,

I am so moved by your leadership and for standing up for our diverse law school community. I have faced many difficult challenges and it was not easy for me as a disabled Post 9/11 Navy veteran and 5-time cancer survivor to start law school and to thrive at Whittier graduating with a 3.17 GPA in Fall 2016. I had had my last chemo treatment on May 2014 and started up at Whittier in August 2014 almost crippled from the over 60 rounds of chemo, radiation, and bone marrow transplants. I was given 9 months to live by my Navy doctors in May 2013 but I kept on pushing forward.

I was motivated to become a lawyer to advocate for fellow veterans because struggles I faced when getting medically retired out of the Navy in November 2012 with terminal cancer but I had a low LSAT due to mental and physical disabilities I got while serving my country during war time in the Navy.

Whittier again took a chance on me despite my low LSAT score and because of that I have been able to be a trailblazer in the local legal community assisting hundreds of homeless and low income veterans through the VLI, Snyder Law, and Legal Aid Society get over $1 million in their veteran benefits. If it was not for Whittier I would not have received a legal education and been able to join this noble profession hopefully this summer to serve my fellow veterans.

Anything I can do to save our law school to ensure its doors remain open for other future law students like me especially veterans that deserve a chance despite their disabilities and low LSAT score to receive a legal education.

Again anything I can do to help please let me know. I am proud to be a part the Poet community and my years at WLS receiving my legal education were the best years of my entire life as I discovered my purpose to be an advocate for struggling fellow veterans through professors like you, Professor Leary, Professor Kelch, and Professor Rose.

Regards,

Bryan Fazio J.D./ MBA/ MAOL
Veteran Legal Institute Law Clerk/Legal Aid Society Law Clerk
Snyder Law Consultant
Petty Officer Third Class Operation Specialist United States Navy-Ret.
Military and Veteran OCBA Committee Member
Brandman University Veteran Scholarship Board Member


Dear Judy,

I can only imagine that the sudden turn of events at WLS has been overwhelming, but I hope you are weathering through it as gracefully as possible. I truly appreciate the e-mail you sent to the alums this afternoon. Of course, I was much disheartened by the news, and I am both shocked and dismayed by the Board of Trustees’ decision.

I have the rare distinction of being one of the few—if not, only—doctrinal tenure-track law faculty with a Whittier J.D. hired off the AALS market and currently teaching in the country. My scholarship, which includes pieces placed at the Harvard Journal on Legislation, The Georgetown Law Journal, the Utah Law Review, the Kentucky Law Journal, the Marquette Law Review, and others, all contribute to Whittier’s legacy and reputation for excellence. Likewise, the same goes for my teaching, which has been noted by consecutive Professor of the Year awards and a recent award for being one of the 50 Under 50 Law Professors of Color. Lastly, every day that I have served on the faculty at the University of Massachusetts School of Law—the first and only public law school in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and where we provide access to justice to the community at large here—has furthered the justice mission of WLS as well.

Although I know that my own career after graduation has been my own responsibility, I cannot help but feel that the Trustees’ decision was an infringement upon the spirit of higher education and will hinder the progress many of us have made to uphold and strengthen the legacy of the Law School. However, I am heartened to see that you and some of the Whittier law faculty are pursuing avenues to correct this grave injustice. I read the Stris & Maher TRO filing this morning. Though I know that it was not successful, I hope that the story of WLS does not end there. To that end, I lend my support—morally, emotionally, and otherwise—to move the school and its legacy positively forward.

Yours,

Jeremiah A. Ho
Assistant Professor of Law
University of Massachusetts School of Law


Thank you for your email, Dean Daar.

I graduated class of 86, passed the bar the first time, and have practiced criminal law for over 30 years. I have obtained acquittals in homicides, sex cases, gang cases, and obtained a 9-3 NG jury split in the Taft Union High School Shooting, (People v. Bryan Oliver), a case that featured a full confession and a video surveillance showing the shooting. This case made national headlines and I appeaered as a guest on The Lead with Jake Tapper on CNN.

My Whittier College School of Law degree has served me well, and I am very grateful for having graduated from this fine school. I also have degrees from UCLA and Cornell University, and I strongly believe that Whittier is as fine a school as those other fine institutions I have attended.

I am currently acting as penalty counsel on a death penalty case being tried in D8 of the Kern County Superior Court (People v. Bratton). I tried the Oliver school shooting case before the Honorable John Lua here in Kern, also a Whittier Law grad. Just last week, Kern County DA (and my friend) Felicia Nagel, was named California Deputy District Attorney of the year. Ms. Nagel is a Whittier law grad.

Let me know what I can do to assist in this injustice. I have never been prouder of our school.

Paul Derek Cadman, Esq.
JD Class of 1986

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