Chancellor's wife promotes post-graduate education

Kelly Weisberg, UC Hastings professor and wife of Chancellor George Blumenthal, answers a student's questions after the pre-law workshop. (Photo by Gwen Mickelson)

Kelly Weisberg is a strong believer in the motto, "If you can dream it, you can do it."

That belief was part of what brought the UC Hastings College of the Law professor to the UCSC campus last week, as a panelist in a workshop introducing potential post-graduate students to law school and advising them on law school admission and student life.

Another reason for Weisberg's visit: She's Chancellor George Blumenthal's wife. Because of that connection, elevating UCSC's national profile is also among her goals.

"It's important for our students to pursue their dreams, and for us to help them pursue their dreams," Weisberg said after the seminar. Also, she said, an event for pre-law students, as well as encouraging more UCSC students to go on to graduate or professional school of any sort, "enhances the reputation of the campus."

For fall 2007, 238 UCSC students, graduate students, or alumni applied to law school, said Joan Walker, advising services manager and career advisor. That number fits in with the campus's annual average-typically, 240-250 students and alumni apply to law school, according to Walker.

Along with Weisberg, who's taught at Hastings for 25 years, the two other panelists at the seminar were Adam Barrett, dean of admissions at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, and Greg Canada, director of admissions for UC Hastings.

Close to 20 students attended and had a chance hear overviews on law school admissions and student life. They also got to ask questions about internships, the homework burden in law school, whether their undergraduate school made a difference in acceptance, and what admissions officers look for in applications.

The panelists offered advice on admission, saying there's more to a candidate than grade-point averages and test scores.

"Leadership, a sense of purpose, giving back to the community--those are things I look for through the application," said Pacific McGeorge's Barrett. "Wanting to have an impact and make a difference--those are the type of people I'm looking for, who can bring different characteristics to the program."

They advised students to do three things:

  • Tell admissions officers about themselves.

  • Follow application instructions.

  • Write well.

For attendee Chris Bamberger, 22, a fourth-year history major, the seminar was a good way to start getting information about a potential career choice.

"I'm going to be graduating in a few months, and I don't have a lot of plans for what I'm going to do," Bamberger said. "I'm interested in law school because I think it's something I'd be good at."

The seminar was helpful, he said, but he also plans on checking out other schools in subsequent law school information sessions planned for this week and mid May.

For information about future seminars, visit the Career Center's workshop schedule.

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