Welcome Back Open House Spotlights New Cotchett Law Center

UC Hastings Law hosted an open house on Sept. 17 to welcome community members and friends back to campus after a long pandemic-forced absence. Dozens of students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends, partners, and neighbors attended the celebratory event.

Standing on the quad that links Kane Hall and the new Cotchett Law Center, Chancellor and Dean David Faigman welcomed the UC Hastings community back after many months of virtual gatherings and Zoom classes. “This is an open house: Check out the new building. Go up to the fifth floor of the Cotchett Center. Take a selfie with the City Hall in the background. Walk across the fourth-floor sky bridge. See our renovated sixth floor of the 200 building. And visit the first floor, which is also fully renovated,” Faigman said. “We have this sense of momentum. Things are really moving quickly and it’s very exciting.”

For those who had not been on campus since COVID-19 propelled the school online in March 2020, there was much to marvel at. Guests had the opportunity to tour the college’s new classroom and center spaces in Kane Hall as well as its spectacular Cotchett Law Center academic building. Food and drink were provided by UC Hastings’ neighbor La Cocina Municipal Marketplace, an innovative women-led food hall that launched mid-pandemic.

State Assemblymembers David Chiu and Phil Ting and former State Senator Mark Leno each offered remarks, as did Joe Cotchett ’64, ASUCH President Kameelah Sims-Traylor ’22, and Board of Directors Vice Chair Simona Agnolucci ’06.

Chiu, Ting, and Leno’s advocacy was key to securing California funding for the state-of-the-art, 57,000 square-foot building at 333 Golden Gate Ave, which was named in recognition of Cotchett’s substantial contributions to the school.

“For us, it was so easy to support moving this great institution forward, “Chiu said. “I get asked a lot by young students graduating from college who want to go to law school, ‘Where should I go?’ And I say to them – with all due respect for anyone who might have gone to Stanford – don’t go to Stanford. Don’t go to the Ivy League. There is one school in the heart of our city where if you graduate and want to run for state assembly, you can become the speaker of the assembly and then the mayor of San Francisco, as UC Hastings graduate Willie Brown ’58 will tell you. You could even become an assistant DA, then an assistant city attorney, and then run for DA of the city, run for attorney general of our state, and then become the next vice president of the United States [like Kamala Harris ’89].”