In a year like no other in recent memory, the UC Hastings’ Center for Business Law is continuing to lay its foundations to become the leading business law center in San Francisco. There is currently a lot of soul searching within the business community around the question of corporate purpose. In this context, the COVID-19 pandemic has shone a powerful spotlight on the racial inequalities which provide great opportunity for some while systematically oppressing others. This is one of the reasons for our decision to launch the “CBL Scholars Program”, a comprehensive new initiative to assist students from underrepresented communities to enter corporate law practice.
I am proud to report that our fundraising for the CBL Scholars Program is going strong after only a few months from launching. A number of UC Hastings alumni and some leading Bay Area law firms have stepped up in a big way as Founding Sponsors: Orrick has committed to fund an annual scholarship for one CBL scholar, and Gunderson Dettmer has also committed significant funds to support this program. Orrick and Gunderson Dettmer will also provide mentorship and programming support, as well as firm and operating company professional opportunities, for our Scholars. The CBL Scholars initiative is led by Scott James, the Co-Chair of our Advisory Board (Hastings ’13) and the General Counsel of Data Collective (DCVC). We are very thankful to Scott, our Alumni and these law firms for supporting this initiative.
As we approach year-end, we are building on our early fundraising momentum to try and fully fund this ambitious program. We recognize there are many competing demands on all of our resources and would be grateful for any and all financial support from this community. More details about CBL Scholars and how to give can be found at this link.
We also just celebrated the National Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month, and one important recent business and legislative development has been the passage of AB-979, a new California law requiring publicly held corporations headquartered California to have a minimum number of directors from underrepresented communities on its board of directors. This bill was modeled after SB 826 that was signed into law in 2018 to advance equitable gender representation on California corporate boards.
We are planning to create more research projects, programs and events that will add value to UC Hastings and the business law community of the SF/Bay Area. As always, if you would like to reach out to me to discuss one or more of these initiatives, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Executive Director of the Center for Business Law, and Adjunct Professor, UC Hastings.