TJSL students call it the “Law Prom”, but the annual Barristers Ball is always so much more than that – especially this year.
The 2013 edition, “Masquerade”, held on Saturday February 9, was part of a three-day celebration crowned by the formal dedication ceremony of the new law school on Thursday, with keynote speaker, U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who also appeared at TJSL’s 13th Annual Women and the Law Conference on Friday.
The elegant affair, with everyone decked out in their finery, was held at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel, just blocks from the law school, and was an evening for students, faculty, staff and alumni to party and celebrate!
One of the highlights of the evening is the awards ceremony and the first award of the evening had two winners! Amy Louttit 3L and Susy Prochazka 3L were both recipients of the highly prestigious Charles T. Bumer Civil Libertarian Award, named for the legendary San Diego defense attorney. The award was presented on behalf of the National Lawyers Guild by former NLG president Professor Marjorie Cohn.
Adjunct Faculty Member of the Year was Director of Academic Success Karen Harkins and the award was presented by TJSL students Lindsay Demery and Kenny Robbins – who announced they had gotten engaged just three days before!
Staff Member of the Year was Jennifer Cooper, the Associate Director of Academic Success and the Lewis and Clark Award for Innovation and Dedication went to Professor Leah Christensen.
Each class gives a Professor of the Year Award and the 1Ls named Associate Dean and Professor Eric Mitnick as their winner, while the 2Ls selected Professor Marybeth Herald. The 3Ls selected Professor Kenneth Vandevelde as their Professor of the Year.
The Student Organization President of the Year was Chelsea Halpine-Berger of Phi Alpha Delta and the SBA Appreciation Award went to event planner Joel Wingelman.
The final award of the night was the 10th Annual Thomas Golden Alumnus of the year award, which went to the indefatigable Renee Galente ’08 – whom Professor Golden pointed out is the alumna to win this award the fewest years after graduation.
Galente’s affiliations, offices and accomplishments fill an entire page, but as her fellow alumni describe her, “Renee is not only a successful attorney, but she is also fully committed to giving back to the community through her service in different organizations. As president of the TJSL Alumni Association, Renee goes above and beyond. Renee keeps the entire Alumni Association motivated to continue working to improve our school’s visibility in San Diego Community. Renee is an invaluable volunteer and a shining member of the TJSL community.”
As the program came to a close, SBA president Gabe Baldini presented a very special award to TJSL Dean and President Rudy Hasl, who is retiring at the end of June. The presentation was followed by a very moving video tribute to thank Dean Hasl for his eight years of service and his monumental achievements and accomplishments as leader of the law school.
After the awards ceremony it was all-out party time!