“This is a great event, I love it,” said Superior Court Judge Patricia Garcia as she walked in to the TJSL Alumni Association Judicial Officers Mixer held on October 21 in the Law Library Building.
”I missed the opportunity to meet a judge in law school,” said Superior Court Judge Browder Willis ‘83, looking around at the large turnout of his colleagues. “This is priceless for the students.”
Judge Maureen Hallahan agreed, saying ”it’s important for law students to get to know judges and feel comfortable speaking with them in a social setting. Also to know that we’re just regular people.”
One highlight of the evening was the presentation of Distinguished Alumni awards to San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis ’76 and San Diego County Public Defender Henry Coker ’85. Along with the awards, they both got brand new Thomas Jefferson School of Law diplomas, as the school was Western State when they graduated.
The event was organized by Superior Court Commissioner Gary Bloch, ’81, who says that the great turnout among judges was in part due to the great respect they have for the district attorney and public defender.
Another honored guest was Fourth District Appeals Court Justice Patricia Benke, who is a member of TJSL’s Board of Trustees.
Robert Trentacosta, the Assistant Presiding Judge the San Diego Downtown Superior Court said that he attended out of “love and respect for the legal profession” and his regard for law students. He says he loves being a judge, and loved being a lawyer. To the students he says “despite the current economic difficulties there is a future and the end is worth the struggle.”
Thomas Jefferson School of Law is deeply grateful to the judicial officers who attended as well as the students, staff, alumni and professors who made this year’s mixer such a great success.