Three UC Hastings Law students have been selected for the 2020 Renne Public Law Fellowship, designed to introduce law students to local government advocacy. The two-week program immerses students in the law and policy of local government agencies. The fellows are being taught by top political figures and municipal attorneys, including UC Hastings’ own Willie Brown ’58, the former mayor of San Francisco who spent 30 years in the California State Assembly and 15 years as its Speaker.
Susana Maria Aguilera, Jake Freitas, and Garvey Vincent, all rising 3Ls, are the recipients. The fellowship comes with a $2,000 stipend. Eight students from across the country were selected. UC Hastings, long known for its Government Concentration, sent the most students to the inaugural-year program, which is being conducted remotely.
Faculty for the program reads like a Who’s Who in Bay Area and state government. Besides Mayor Brown, students will hear from Corrie Manning, General Counsel of the League of CA Cities; Therese McMillan, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission; Louise Renne, former San Francisco City Attorney and founding partner of Renne Public Law Group; Trent Rohrer, Executive Director of San Francisco Human Services Agency; Abigail Stewart-Kahn, Interim Director of the San Francisco Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing; Assemblymember Phil Ting, (CA-19); Joaquín Torres, Director of the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development; Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council; and Andrew Schwartz, a partner with Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger, who also has lectured at UC Hastings.
UC Hastings has a rich legacy of sending students into successful careers in public law and government service. Perhaps the school’s most famous alum in the field was Burk “Buck” Delventhal ’69, a scholar, UC Hastings professor, San Francisco public servant, and one of the sharpest legal minds in California.
Called the “heart and soul of the governmental side of the city,” Delventhal, who spent over 49 years in the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, had a hand in guiding the city and shaping many of its groundbreaking policies. He died in November 2019.
“This is such an honor for our students and UC Hastings, to have the largest presence in this program. These three students, all who hope to practice in the field, will be enormously impacted and their dedication and promise is a tribute to Professor Delventhal,” said Koreen Kelleher, Director of the Alumni Mentor Program in the Career Development Office. “It’s a one-of-a-kind launching pad into public law.”
This year’s Renne Fellows are:
Garvey Vincent: Vincent was born and raised in Berkeley, California, and says he has always been passionate about public service. As an undergraduate at Santa Clara University, where he earned his B.A. in Political Science and Ethnic Studies, he worked on a grassroots local government campaign. His senior year, he took a constitution and inequality class that jumpstarted his pursuit of law school. He says he is determined to use his law degree to establish effective policies that have a positive effect on the community.
Vincent has been a member of the Hastings Trial Team, served as Acquisitions Editor of the Hastings Environmental Law Journal, served as President of the Black Law Student Association, and is now Chair of the ASUCH Health and Wellness Committee.
Susana Maria Aguilera: Aguilera is interested in the intersection between environmental and municipal law. Previously, she externed at the California Department of Justice in the Environment and Land Law sections. Last summer, she interned at Communities for a Better Environment, where her work focused on air quality issues. She is a proud member of the Hastings Environmental Law Journal, where she is Senior Acquisitions Editor, and La Raza Law Student Association. She won both the CALI and Witkin Awards for Torts in her Spring 2019 semester and the CALI Award for Constitutional Law I in her Fall 2019 semester.
She has a master’s degree in Latin American Studies from UC San Diego and a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA.
Jake Freitas: A longtime Oakland resident, Freitas is Managing Editor of the Hastings Journal of Crime and Punishment and Chair of the Journal’s Community Advocacy Committee. During his Spring 2020 semester, Freitas interned with the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, working on the Government Team advising city departments and local officials. Later this summer, he will clerk with Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth in the firm’s San Francisco office, working on public law and public finance projects. After law school, Mr. Freitas hopes to work with local governments and community groups on issues related to community economic development.
He has a B.A. in Philosophy from UC Santa Cruz and before law school he worked as a carpenter and a musician. He is also an active member of the local arts and music community. His volunteer work includes helping local and state prisoners advocate for their rights while incarcerated.