Alumna Chief Justice Comes Back

Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the first Asian American to lead the State of California’s judiciary, speaks at the Pathway to Law School Summit at UC Davis.

by Laura Pizzo

Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye (B.A. ’80, J.D. ’84) recently spoke to an audience of high school, community college, and undergraduate pre-law counselors and teachers at The Pathway to Law School Summit, an event held at King Hall and co-sponsored by UC Davis School of Law and California Law, Inc. The event, which is just one example of Cantil-Sakauye’s engagement with her alma mater, seeks to define best practices to diversify the law school pipeline.

“It’s important for alumni to be involved with a university,” said Cantil-Sakauye, the first Asian American to lead the State of California’s judiciary. “A great university remains great and grows even greater because of its alumni—because of the stature of the works of its alumni.”

Cantil-Sakauye has returned to UC Davis to speak on several occasions, including at the King Hall Outreach Program, which helps college students from underrepresented communities prepare for the law school admissions process. She also judged the 2014 Irving L. Neumiller Memorial Moot Court Competition and delivered the keynote address at the “Celebrating King Hall” event, where she was honored with the School of Law’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

These events at UC Davis have inspired her daughter, now a senior in high school, to become familiar with campus and to consider UC Davis her top choice university.

“Now, UC Davis looks significantly different, but its heart and soul are the same,” Catil-Sakauye said. “Social justice is what defines the university.”