Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law celebrated its 11th Diversity Week from February 20 to 26 with multiple days of programming organized by a cross-section of the school’s many diverse student groups.

The week began with a lunchtime panel on “Diverse Women in the Law.” The panel featured three panelists from the legal community who shared their experiences as successful lawyers, as well as tips on how female attorneys can empower one another. The panelists were Christina Zabat-Fran, Vice President and General Counsel at St. John Knits; Marchelle Bailey, Senior Counsel at the U.S. Small Business Administration; and, Madiha S. Siddiqui (’15), Associate Attorney at Crowell & Moring LLP. The panel was moderated by Fowler School of Law Professor Marisa Cianciarulo and hosted by the Chapman Women Lawyers Association, the Minority Law Students Association (MLSA), and the Student Bar Association (SBA).

On Thursday, Fowler School of Law’s student organizations hosted a patio barbecue, which preceded a panel presentation on student volunteering sponsored by the Career Services Office. The panel featured representatives from the Public Law Center, Legal Aid Society of Orange County, and the Orange County Office of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, who discussed the value of volunteering during law school and ways to get more involved in the Orange County legal community. Later that day, members of the participating student organizations joined for a Unity Walk around the Chapman campus.

On Friday, the Muslims and Allies Humanitarian Law Society welcomed Khaled A. Beydoun, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, who presented a talk on “Islamaphobia and the Law.” A leading legal scholar on civil rights and Muslim American identity, Professor Beydoun examined the intersection of national security policy, civil liberties, and citizenship at his well-attended talk.

The week culminated Saturday morning with Diversity Day, an annual event hosted by Fowler School of Law’s Office of Admission and MLSA. The event welcomed hundreds of local high school students to hear legal professionals discuss the obstacles they overcame to reach success. “Every year we are honored to host Diversity Day and inspire hundreds of diverse local junior and high school students from our community to ‘dream big’ and pursue higher education,” said Fowler School of Law Assistant Dean of Admission & Diversity Initiatives Justin Cruz. “It is important for us to help the next generation of students reach their highest potential. It is through programs like Diversity Day that we are able to build a more inclusive and diverse legal profession,” he noted. This year’s Diversity Day speakers included Honorable Elizabeth G. Macias of the Orange County Superior Court; Riverside immigration attorney Rosa Elena Sahagun; Eric M. Dominguez, Orange County Hispanic Bar Association President; Lyo Figueroa, Orange County Hispanic Bar Association Immediate Past President; Costa Mesa attorney Kimberly B. La Salle, President of the Thurgood Marshall Bar Association; and Fowler Law alumna April Cristal (’16).

The Chapman community is grateful to the many student organizations participating in this year’s successful Diversity Week events: Asian Pacific American Law Student Association; Black Law Students Association; Chapman Women Lawyers Association; Diversity and Social Justice Forum; Chapman Law Review; Health Law Society; Immigration Law Society; Iranian Law Society; Jewish Law Students Association; Minority Law Students Association; Muslim and Allies Humanitarian Law Society; Student Bar Association; and, Students of Law Against Trafficking and Exploitation.


Above: Honorable Elizabeth G. Macias of the Orange County Superior Court speaks to students during Diversity Day