Old and New SBA Officers Enjoy “Passing of the Torch” Dinner

The cloudy evening sky didn’t even come close to putting a damper on the “Passing of the Torch” reception and dinner hosted by Dean Rudy Hasl for outgoing and incoming Student Bar Association (SBA) officers on Friday, April 20. More than 30 students, along with the Dean and several other TJSL administrators, gathered on the 8th floor south terrace and in the adjoining boardroom to socialize and, more importantly, to recognize the SBA leaders who served during this current academic year and to introduce the new leadership for the 2012-2013 academic year.

Following a pasta buffet that included pistachio-covered chocolate truffles, Dean Hasl thanked all of this year’s SBA leaders for their time and dedication, and remarked that “the entire TJSL community has benefitted from your involvement.” He encouraged the outgoing SBA leaders to “remain involved in the life of the school” and to “look for ways we can continue to assist you in your professional lives.” Noting that it’s been a tough year due to the economy and the media attention on legal education, Dean Hasl emphasized that TJSL “is still a relatively young ABA school that earned AALS membership in record time, which shows the quality of our program.”

“We’ll see the reputation of this institution continue to rise,” he said, pointing to the opportunities ahead to partner with the new central library and the charter school that will be housed there. “That’s how your reputation continues to grow.” Dean Hasl also announced the formal dedication of the new TJSL campus next February, for which Associate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is scheduled to be present. The Dean said he also hopes to have members of the Supreme Courts of China, France and Brazil at the dedication “to show our direction for the future.”

This year’s SBA president, Marty Stratte, commented that this has been “one of the biggest privileges of my law school career and an incredible experience. Why SBA? We can be advocates for our fellow students. One of our jobs is to ask what the problem is and to find a way to resolve it.” Stratte congratulated all the new SBA board members and expressed sincere appreciation to those who served with him this year, paying special tribute to outgoing SBA Secretary Lindsay Volk for “being my right-hand person who went above and beyond the call of duty” and to Student Services Director Lisa Ferreira “who was there for me night and day since last June.” “I have faith in Gabe and his new regime,” concluded Stratte. “I wish you all the best.”

On that note, newly elected SBA President Gabriel Baldini took to the floor, first thanking Dean Hasl for hosting the evening’s festivities. “I have big shoes to live up to with Marty and Jeremy (Evans ’11),” said Baldini, before asking the members of his “new regime” to introduce themselves. “We’re looking forward to a great year. We’ve got lots of good ideas already.”

Lisa Ferreira concluded the evening by encouraging the new SBA leadership to stay engaged. “The Administration really wants to works with you,” she said. “You’ve got the pulse of the student population. Our doors are open to you – we really mean it!”

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Jeremy M. Evans is the CEO, Founder & Managing Attorney of California Sports Lawyer® representing entertainment, media, and sports clients and is licensed to practice law in California.