Wednesday, September 25, 2013

          Surviving the 65 Club: One Alumnus' Generosity Begets Another's

          Kris Whitten '73 recalls a kindly (if quirky) alumnus' lifesaving tutorials with a gift to UC Hastings.
          Kris Whitten '73

          Kris Whitten '73

          In the ’60s and ’70s, UC Hastings was renowned for its 65 Club, faculty who had reached mandatory retirement age elsewhere and continued their careers at the law school. Among students, the 65 Club was awe-inspiring, but the professors could be intimidating.

          “Most of the big schools used the Socratic method: We were supposed to find our own answers,” says Kris Whitten ’73. “We were terrified. The professors were brilliant, but they believed that was how you trained lawyers because that’s how they were trained.”

          Lucky for Whitten and his classmates, “this little leprechaun-type person dropped out of the sky and let us know it was going to be OK.” At the time, Jerome Sack ’48 was dean of Lincoln Law School, but once a week or so, he put on his trademark beret and headed to a slightly seedy storefront in the Tenderloin. There, he offered tutorials to UC Hastings students between telling war stories and chewing on cigars. The cost per student: $1 a session. Whitten never knew why Sack bothered: “He took pity on us, I guess, and God bless him. The gift he gave us was explaining these concepts in plain English.”

          After graduation, Whitten clerked for a federal judge, worked at a law firm, and then went in-house at Bank of America. Since 1999, he has been a deputy attorney general specializing in business and tax issues. This year, as he commemorates his 40th reunion, he has started a scholarship fund in Sack’s name. His hope is that other alumni will chip in enough to establish a permanent scholarship, with the money going to students who help their first-year peers “not give up on the law”—just like the godsend dean who helped Whitten and his petrified friends.

          Read more from UC Hastings magazine here.

          Go to News Archive

          Share this Story

          Share via Facebook
          Share via TwitterShare via EmailPrint Friendly Version

          Other Recent Stories/ RSS

          Monday, November 20, 2017

          Professor Carol Izumi receives 2018 William Pincus Award for Outstanding Service and Commitment to Clinical Legal Education from the Association of American Law Schools (AALS)

          “Recipients are giants in the field and Carol belongs in their midst,” says Associate Dean Ascanio Piomelli.
          Friday, November 17, 2017

          Exciting New Spring 2018 Courses Focus on the Future

          Grabbing from the headlines and emphasizing innovation, courses like Legal Tech Startups, Advanced Immigration Law, and Stalking and Law will prepare UC Hastings students for next-level legal careers.
          Tuesday, November 14, 2017

          Port pilot John Betz ’96 discusses his non-legal career and the importance of education

          A tragic “Deadliest Catch” moment piqued a lifelong interest in the law and encouraged John to pursue a law degree at UC Hastings.
          Friday, November 03, 2017

          Thinkers & Doers: October 2017

          100 Things Warriors Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die -- Alum appointed Chargé d’Affaires -- The poisonous dynamic over who’s to blame for racism -- Prof. Williams on the Harvey Weinstein Effect -- Two More UC Hastings Grads Receive Judgeships from Gov. Brown -- Jury selection in the Steinle case -- and much more
          Wednesday, November 01, 2017

          Why do drug prices remain so high?

          "Because drug companies block competition," says Professor Feldman in a new study that examines all drugs on the market between 2005 and 2015, identifying and analyzing every instance in which the company added new patents or exclusivities. 
          Go to News Archive