Less than five years out of law school, David Casarrubias ’18 has successfully represented a diverse mix of clients – from asylum seekers to cannabis companies, to public transportation districts. An associate with the firm Hanson Bridgett LLP, he won an appeal this year for a Nigerian asylum seeker who was threatened with a death sentence for being gay.
Casarrubias attributes his success to his years at UC Hastings Law. As a student, he participated in the Hastings Appellate Project and successfully briefed and argued a pro bono appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
“UC Hastings’ reputation precedes it among the legal community, and for good reason,” Casarrubias said. “Its clinical programming, including the Hastings Appellate Project, is exceptional. It inspired me to pursue a career in appellate litigation which is how I ended up at Hanson Bridgett LLP. Coincidentally, the Hastings’ bench is deep at my firm which helped me make instant connections with my colleagues.”
Casarrubias recently joined the UC Hastings Alumni Association Board of Governors, which serves as a liaison between alumni and the school’s administration. The board provides valuable input on alumni volunteer activities, chapter and affinity group programming, and helps support department initiatives.
“I am grateful for what the UC Hastings staff and faculty did for me as a student, and what they continue to do for the next generations of diverse lawyers that, year after year, choose Hastings for their legal education,” Casarrubias said. “A key component to that success is the school’s alumni involvement. Seeking to fortify those bonds is what motivated me to serve on the Board of Governors.”
But his involvement with Hastings isn’t limited to the Board of Governors. He also serves as an adjunct professor teaching appellate advocacy.
He said he first became interested in Hastings as an undergraduate student researching a First Amendment issue for competitive moot court. He found a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, which involved UC Hastings defending its nondiscrimination policy for student groups. “Reading that case caused me to learn more about the school, learn about its history as California’s first law school, and ultimately decide to seek admission,” Casarrubias said.
His advice to current law students? “Once you realize that it’s all IRAC (Issue, Rule, Analysis, Conclusion), you will be able to embrace the material practically and creatively. It will also allow you to be curious and think critically about what the law is and how it can be used for greater good.”