The incoming JD class of UC Hastings Law got a special welcome from one of the school’s noteworthy alumni – Adelmise Warner, ’01, who leads Apple’s global employee relations. Warner gave the keynote address for nearly 400 1L students to cap off orientation week.
“You all come from different backgrounds and have had different experiences, but you have one thing in common,” Warner said. “That is the dream of becoming a member of this fantastic legal profession.”
Warner, the senior director of global employee relations at Apple, encouraged the class of ’25 to take advantage of the opportunities available at law school—from joining the moot court team, to participating in legal clinics and law journals, to taking a leadership role in law student associations. “Participating in extracurricular activities will absolutely enrich your law school experience,” she said.
Acknowledging that law school can be difficult, Warner told students to stay strong and have faith in themselves, “You will feel discouraged at times, but do not let the hard days or the doubtful moments overcome you. Be kind to yourself.”
Warner, who also serves on the UC Hastings Alumni Association Board of Governors, implored students to follow their passion and keep an open mind, “Do what gives you joy, but be flexible about your career paths … There’s no one path for you when you get out of law school. But while you’re here, figure it out. Try different things. Pursue different experiences until you discover what truly motivates you.”
The Apple executive added that just because law school is hard, it doesn’t mean students can’t enjoy themselves along the way. “It does not have to be the end of having fun. In fact, it’ll help you do better in school if you incorporate some fun parts.”
Warner, who grew up in Haiti and moved to the U.S. at age 16 as a non-native English speaker, shared with the students that she was the first in her family to graduate from high school. She credits UC Hastings Legal Education Opportunity Program (LEOP) and other law school resources with helping her to succeed. She shared a piece of advice that her Haitian mother gave her, translated from Creole, “Don’t focus on where you come from and the obstacles ahead of you, but rather focus on your goals. And remember to breathe along the way.”
Warner previously served as global head of diversity and inclusion at Pandora and as a Vice President, Global Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Learning and Development after Pandora’s merger with SiriusXM in 2019.
After congratulating the students, Warner led them in the Pledge of Professionalism. UC Hastings Chancellor and Dean David Faigman concluded the ceremony with a champagne toast.