Monday, June 22, 2015

          Bruce Pfaff '79 awards $10k scholarships to Clifton Smoot '15 and Zachary Spear '15

          Recent grads get a financial boost and incentive to try plaintiff’s law.
          Sample alt tag.
          2015 graduates Zach Spear and Clifton Smoot.

          Bruce Pfaff '79 said that he wanted to express his gratitude to UC Hastings by establishing the generous scholarship program.

          Since 2014, two Pfaff Trial Lawyer Scholarships are awarded each year to UC Hastings students interested in becoming civil trial lawyers. Clifton Smoot '15 and Zachary Spear '15 “were the clear winners this year,” said Pfaff, who has practiced in that field for 36 years. The selection committee evaluates whether the applicants have proven ability and desire to become competent trial lawyers and awards a minimum of two $10,000 scholarships each year to UC Hastings students.

          Clifton Smoot '15 is already jumping into the field. He’s joining the Bogaards Davis law firm in August, headed up by UC Hastings alumna Deborah Bogaards ‘81. “The UC Hastings trial team really got me to where I am,” he said. “The experience helped gel my academic and political interest in tort litigation, and challenged me to develop a more professional level of skill,” he said. Smoot said the Pfaff award will ease his debt burden and allow him to choose plaintiff’s side work. “To have Mr. Pfaff give this level of support allows me to focus on becoming a better trial lawyer.”


          SHARELINE: Bruce Pfaff of @PfaffGillPorts awards 2 $10k scholarships to @UCHastingsLaw grads Clifton Smoot and Zach Spear '15 http://ctt.ec/Zsa7A+


          Zach Spear ‘15 has also excelled in his career at UC Hastings, and on the moot court competition team, although his path to get here was atypical. After receiving an undergraduate journalism degree, he worked as a professional broadcaster for two seasons in minor league baseball. He’s also been a substitute teacher and a package deliverer. “I’ve learned a lot about communication from live broadcasting, I’ve learned a lot about patience from teaching, and I’ve learned a lot about hard work and humanity by delivering packages every day, rain or shine, to everyday people’s doorsteps,” Spear said. “Someday I’m going to learn how to put all of that together to win the best possible outcomes for my clients. To me, this scholarship says, keep going, keep working, you’re getting closer, and I’m very thankful for that.”

          Bruce Pfaff has been a trial lawyer since 1979, representing people injured or killed by wrongful conduct. He started his own practice, Pfaff, Gill & Ports, in Chicago in 1991. In six cases, his clients have each received more than $10 million in jury verdicts. He is one of a handful of Illinois lawyers who have had such trial success. In addition to representing clients and managing the law firm, Pfaff writes Friend of the Court briefs for the Illinois Trial Lawyers' Association and for the American Board of Trial Advocates. He has been inducted as a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, the International Society of Barristers, and the American Board of Trial Advocates.

          Go to News Archive

          Share this Story

          Share via Facebook
          Share via TwitterShare via EmailPrint Friendly Version

          Other Recent Stories/ RSS

          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. 
          Wednesday, October 25, 2017

          UC Hastings Community Offers Legal Help to Wine Country Wildfire Victims

          “I'd been reading stories in the news, and it was devastating. It bothered me not doing anything about it—I just wanted to do something for the families,” says 2L Trang Luong.
          Go to News Archive