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Western State At A Glance
Learn more about our graduates, their careers and how they are helping to shape the future.
J.D., Temple University
LL.M., Temple University
B.A., College of Wooster
Civil Procedure I and II
Dean Easley brings to Western State College of Law over thirty years of experience in legal education. He served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Washburn University School of Law for thirteen years, and as Dean at William Mitchell College of Law and the University of La Verne College of Law.
Dean Easley has served in numerous leadership positions at the ABA, AALS and LSAC, the three major national organizations that support legal education. At the ABA he was the chair of the Questionnaire Committee (now the Data Policy and Collection Committee) for four years, and served on the Standards Review Committee for four years during its most recent comprehensive review of the accreditation standards. At the AALS Dean Easley chaired two different special committees on faculty recruitment services and practices, chaired the Membership Review Committee, and served a three-year term on the governing board of the AALS, the Executive Committee. At LSAC, Dean Easley chaired a user Advisory Group that helped LSAC to revise and improve Admit-M, the predecessor to ACES 2, the admissions software used by all law schools today.
In addition, Dean Easley has extensive experience in the accreditation process. He has served as a member or chair of over twenty site inspection teams for the ABA, AALS and WASC.
J.D., Loyola University School of Law
B.A., California State University, Dominguez Hills
Property I and II
A veteran of several high-level in-house counsel positions with a number of title insurance companies, Professor Sheppard is an authority on business and real estate transaction matters, as well as student life issues.
Professor Sheppard has served Western State since 1980, as an adjunct faculty member before becoming associate professor. He has taught at several colleges and universities. Professor Sheppard was vice president and counsel to several title companies before opening his own practice. Professor Sheppard is a past chairperson of the legislative committee of the Business Law Section of the California State Bar Association and prior member of the Legislative and Forms and Practices Committee of the California Land Title Association. Professor Sheppard is also a member of the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee and the Secretary of the San Diego-Imperial Chapter of the Lupus Foundation of America, Inc.
J.D., University of Idaho College of Law
LL.M., University of Washington School of Law
B.S., University of Idaho
Taxation of Business Entities
Federal Income Taxation
American Indian Law
Professor Jaffke has served on several government and state bar committees addressing the improvement of legal services to Native Americans. She is an expert on tax and created Western State's award-winning student pro bono community tax program.
While in law school at the University of Idaho, Professor Jaffke was director of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), a program in which the elderly, the indigent and non-native speakers are taught how to fill out their own income tax forms during tax season. Professor Jaffke served on the National Taxpayer Advocacy Panel, which is a volunteer committee that works to improve customer service at the IRS, for three years. She was appointed by the State Bar of California to serve on the board of directors for California Indian Legal Services. She serves as the chair of the Personnel Committee and is chair of the Audit Committee. She recently served as Chair Pro-Tem of the Board at its March 2008 Meeting. Professor Jaffke's article The "Existing Indian Family" Exception to the Indian Child Welfare Act: The States' Attempt to Slaughter Tribal Interest in Indian Children, 66 Louisiana Law Review 733 was cited by the Kansas Supreme Court when it overturned the existing Indian family exception. Courses taught: Estate and Gift Taxation, Corporations, Community Property, Taxation of Business Entities, Federal Income Tax, American Indian Law, and Wills & Trusts.
J.D., University of Miami School of Law
B.A., University of California, Los Angeles
Law of Vice
Criminal Justice Ethics
Professor Jones received her Bachelor’s Degree from U.C.L.A. and her Juris Doctor from the University of Miami. Prior to her career in academia, she worked as a criminal defense lawyer, handling misdemeanor and felony cases from arraignment through trial. She also worked extensively with children, representing them in delinquency matters at the juvenile court. Professor Jones was the Vice President of the West Orange County Bar Association and sat on its Board of Directors for nine years. In 2002 she received the President's Award for her service to that organization. Professor Jones teaches a series of courses including Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Law of Vice, Juvenile Law, and Criminal Justice Ethics. In 2011 and 2016, Professor Jones was voted “Professor of the Year” by the Western State student body for her enthusiasm and passion for teaching. You can view Professor Jones’ research on her SSRN Author Page: http://ssrn.com/author=1641671.
J.D., University of Michigan
A.B., Smith College
Legal Writing & Research, I & II
Professor Park has considerable expertise in teaching a wide range of legal skills classes and has developed innovative curricular material in legal research.
Eunice Park received an A.B. in English Language and Literature with a minor in Government from Smith College, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude. She received her J.D. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Professor Park has also taught Legal Skills and Professional Responsibility Practicum Skills/Interviewing, Counseling, and Negotiation classes at Whittier School of Law prior to teaching for Western State College of Law.
J.D., Harvard Law School
B.A., City College of New York
Civil Procedure I and II
Professor Koppel is an authority on civil procedure and consults widely on access to justice and court administration issues.
Professor Koppel worked in the litigation division of a major Wall Street firm for seven years following law school. He then worked in the antitrust division of AT&T before moving to a number of smaller firms. He also taught civil procedure at Adelphi University in New York before coming to Western State in 1982. In spring 2004, Professor Koppel taught Civil Procedure and Evidence at Notre Dame Law School as a visiting professor. Professor Koppel has served as an advisory member to the Civil and Small Claims Committee of the California Judicial Council from 2000 through 2013 and, during fall 2002 through fall 2003, served as consultant to the California Administrative Office of the Courts on civil discovery reform. Professor Koppel is a member of the American Law Institute. Membership in the American Law Institute, limited to 4000 judges, lawyers, and legal scholars from a wide range of practice areas is considered a recognition of professional achievement.
Report to the Civil & Small Claims Committee of the California Judicial Council On Significant Discovery Reforms in State and Federal Courts and their Implications for Amending California Discovery Rules and Statutes, October 16, 2003
J.D., Columbia University School of Law
B.A., Yale University
Professor Koh is an expert on immigration law and clinical teaching, and has devoted much of her career to promoting and protecting the rights of immigrants across the country.
Her scholarship focuses on the immigration consequences of crime, the procedural rights of noncitizens facing deportation, and on teaching methodologies throughout the law school curriculum; and has appeared in journals such as the North Carolina Law Review, Florida Law Review, Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, Clinical Law Review, and Nevada Law Journal. The United States Supreme Court cited Professor Koh’s immigration scholarship in its majority opinion (written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg) in Mellouli v. Lynch, 135 S. Ct. 1980 (2015), a case involving the intersection of immigration and criminal law.
Professor Koh currently serves on the Board of Editors for the Clinical Law Review, and is a member of the blogging team for the Immigration Law Professors’ Blog.
Professor Koh joined Western State in 2010 from Stanford Law School, where she was a Clinical Lecturer and Cooley Godward Kronish Fellow. At Stanford, she supervised students enrolled in the Immigrants' Rights Clinic on cases ranging from the representation of individual noncitizens in immigration matters to policy work, community-based advocacy and litigation on behalf of immigrants.
Before entering law teaching, she was an associate with the law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, where she represented corporate and individual clients in litigation, government investigations, and international arbitration. She was also Director of the Community Liaison Project for Sanctuary for Families' Center for Battered Women's Legal Services in New York City, where she spearheaded a multidisciplinary project aimed at promoting the rights of immigrant survivors of domestic violence through individual representation, collaboration with community-based organizations, and policy advocacy.
Professor Koh received her B.A. from Yale University and her J.D. from Columbia Law School. At Columbia, she was a Senior Editor of the Columbia Law Review. After law school, she clerked for the late Honorable Eugene Nickerson of the Eastern District of New York. Professor Koh teaches immigration law, administrative law, and directs the immigration law clinic. The Immigration Clinic offers second- and third-year law students the opportunity to develop lawyering skills by working firsthand on real-life cases and advocacy involving immigration issues.
J.D., Yale Law School
M.S., University of Wisconsin
B.A., Harpur College
Professor Mohr is an authority on legal ethics and professional responsibility. He is a former Chair and Special Advisor to the State Bar of California's Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct and is currently the Consultant to the State Bar of California's Special Commission for the Revision of the California Rules of Professional Conduct. He is also a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Professional Responsibility and Ethics Committee and the Peter M. Elliott Inn of Court.
After practicing transactional law in Wisconsin, Professor Mohr clerked for the late United States District Judge John S. Rhoades of San Diego. Following his clerkship, Professor Mohr practiced intellectual property law in Los Angeles. He has been teaching law at Western State College of Law for over twenty years. He is a former Chair and Special Advisor to the State Bar's Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct and was also Chair of the State Bar's Task Force on AB1101, which was responsible for drafting Rule of Professional Conduct 3-100, which provides for a narrow exception to the lawyer's duty of confidentiality when disclosure is necessary to prevent a crime likely to result in death or substantial bodily harm. He is current the Consultant to the State Bar of California's Special Commission for the Revision of the California Rules of Professional Conduct and is also a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Professional Responsibility and Ethics Committee. He is a past President, and currently is a Master of the Peter M. Elliott Inn of Court. Professor Mohr was Articles Editor for the Yale International Law Journal Evidence Practice.
J.D., Western State University, College of Law, 2004
B.S., California State University, San Diego
Introduction to Legal Methods
Basic Bar Studies
In addition to being a solo practitioner with a wide range of experience in civil litigation, Professor Blasser has developed a widely acknowledged expertise in creating and implementing successful bar preparation programs and skills based courses.
While in law school, Professor Blasser externed for the late Honorable Robert M. Takasugi of the United States District Court for the Central District of California and interned for a prominent boutique personal injury law firm in Los Angeles. Since 2005, Professor Blasser has specialized in civil litigation and appeals, representing plaintiffs in catastrophic personal injury matters and defending municipalities and police departments in civil rights, contract and administrative agency disputes. Armed with nearly a decade of practical experience, Professor Blasser is incredibly passionate about teaching new and graduating law students the skills needed to succeed in law school, on the bar exam and as they enter the legal profession. Professor Blasser, a full-time faculty member, is currently an Assistant Professor of Lawyering Skills and has been the law school's Assistant Director of Academic Support and Bar Services since 2009.
When Telling Them to Just Do It Fails: A Qualitative Phenomenological Study Examining the Lived Experience of Successful Law Students Engaged in the Process of Course Outlining (work in progress)
Scholarship Matters: A Law Review Article Critique, West Coast Consortium of Academic Support Professionals Conference, University of San Diego School of Law (2013) How to Teach a Bar Preparation Course that Offers More than Substantive Review, Law School Admission Council Conference of Academic Support for Newcomers, Western State College of Law (2011)
J.D., University of Miami School of Law
B.A., University of Washington
Advanced Appellate Advocacy, Contracts, Legal Writing & Research, I & II
Lori Roberts received her Bachelor's Degree from The University of Washington and her Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law. She was a litigation associate in the labor and employment practice groups at Snell & Wilmer and Preston, Gates & Ellis for several years following law school. Professor Roberts teaches Legal Writing I and II is the Director of Legal Writing & Research. Professor Roberts also currently serves as the Director of Moot Court Competitions, and teaches Advanced Appellate Advocacy, a course designed to prepare Moot Court students to participate and succeed in external Moot Court Competitions.
J.D. University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law
M.A. University of California, Irvine, School of Social Ecology
B.A. University of California, Irvine, Environmental Analysis
B.A. University of California, Irvine, Psychology & Social Behavior
Legal Writing and Research I & II
Professional Skills I & II
Monica Todd is an Orange County native. She completed her undergraduate education at the University of California at Irvine, double majoring in Psychology & Social Behavior and Environmental Analysis and Design.
Ms. Todd attended graduate school at the University of California at Irvine, completing both a Master's Degree in Social Ecology (with an emphasis on Human Development studies) and the Elementary Education Teaching Internship Program. Ms. Todd was employed as an elementary school teacher for several years before attending law school.
Ms. Todd earned her Juris Doctorate degree at the University of California at Los Angeles in 2007. During law school Ms. Todd was named a Bergstrom Child Welfare Law Fellow and was copyright editor for the Women's Law Journal. Ms. Todd completed internships at both the Los Angeles Superior Court, Family Law Division and the Children's Law Center of Los Angeles. Ms. Todd was admitted to the state bar of California in 2008 and has practiced Family Law exclusively since then.
Ms. Todd is interested in Family Systems Theory and Child Welfare law.
J.D., University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall)
LL.M., Harvard University
B.S., Stanford University
Constitutional Law I and II
Professor Gotanda has litigated, taught, and published deeply on discrimination and civil rights; he is one of the nation's foremost scholars on critical race theory.
Professor Gotanda has extensive experience in the classroom and in practice. He taught at California Western, City University of New York, and Duquesne University before coming to Western State in 1986. He has also worked with the Asian Law Caucus, California Rural Legal Assistance and the California Fair Employment Commission. His litigation experience includes trials and appeals involving employment discrimination, civil rights, and constitutional law. Professor Gotanda is presently active in the Society of American Law Teachers, the Association of American Studies, the Asian Pacific Americans and Religion Research Initiative, and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California. He was awarded the 1997 Clyde Ferguson Award by the Section on Minority Groups of the American Association of Law Schools.
J.D., Western State University, College of Law
B.A., University of California, Irvine
Introduction to Legal Methods
Solving Legal Problems
Torts I & II
Professor Manning is a nationally acclaimed expert on creating programs to integrate legal skills training into law school curricula.
Paula Manning is a Professor of Law and Director of the Law School's S.T.E.L.L.A.R. Academic Support Program. She is currently serving as President of the Association of Academic Support Educators (AASE). She has served on the executive board of the American Association of Law Schools, Academic Support Section, as an instructor in the CLEO Attitude is Essential Program, as a Regional Consultant for CLEO, and on a number of LSAC Academic Support Planning Committees. For over a decade she has designed programs, developed curricula and provided instruction in academic support and bar preparation, and she is a recognized expert and frequent presenter on such topics, including at American Bar Association, AALS, Society of American Law Teachers, Legal Writing Institute and Institute for Law Teaching and Learning national conferences. Professor Manning has a passion for helping students to succeed in law school, on the bar exam and in the practice of law.
Prior to her academic career, she served as the Director of Litigation for the Fair Housing Foundation and was in private practice specializing in housing discrimination litigation. She is admitted to the bars of California, the United States Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit, and the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
She is the author of Torts, A Context and Practice Casebook (Carolina Academic Press) a text designed to incorporate experiential learning into the traditional law school curriculum. Her research interests include incorporating positive psychology into the classroom and law school environment to improve law student well-being, and her work on using feedback to support student autonomy and develop a growth mindset is available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1967280.
J.D., University of Illinois, College of Law
M.A., University of Virginia
B.A., University of Illinois, Chicago
Torts I and II
Professor Merkel is published in a remarkably wide range of subjects. His scholarship, along with his extensive experience as a practicing attorney, inform his classroom teaching.
Professor Merkel came to Western State from the University of Virginia School of Law where he co-directed the Legal Research and Writing Program for several years. Earlier he served as managing attorney for the Georgia Legal Services Program, Savannah Regional Office. In this capacity, he directed a large attorney and paralegal staff in providing legal assistance to indigents in an eight-county area in southeast Georgia. In law school, he served as a research assistant for the National Clearinghouse for Criminal Justice
Planning and Architecture and as managing editor of the Recent Decisions section of the Illinois Bar Journal.Professor Merkel has tried cases in state and federal courts and has represented clients before appellate courts in California and Georgia. His writings have been cited in appellate court briefs and decisions.
J.D., Southwestern School of Law
M.S.E.E., New York University, New York
B.S.E.E., City College of New York
Criminal Externship Seminar
Criminal Justice Ethics
Professor Molko worked as an engineer on unmanned space flights operation at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory before he entered the practice of law. He was part of the mission teams that sent the unmanned MVM71 past the planets Mercury, Venus and Mars, the unmanned Pioneer 10 to its close encounter of the planet Jupiter in 1974, and the Viking spacecrafts that eventually made the first safe landing on the planet Mars.
He attended Southwestern University School of Law where he was a member of the Law Review and received the degree of Juris Doctor cum laude. He then joined the Orange County District Attorney's in 1975 and was a prosecutor in that office for 32 years. During that time, he tried more than 155 jury trials, including 35 homicides and a Death Penalty case. He was the Assistant District Attorney in charge of the Economic Crimes Unit for 8 years.
He retired from the Orange County District Attorney's Office and initially joined the Western State Adjunct Faculty starting in January 2007. He has been the Director of the Criminal Law Externship Program since then. He has also taught Advanced and California Evidence,Trial Practice and Criminal Ethics.
J.D., Georgetown University Law Center
B.A., Yale University
Civil Procedure I and II
Professor Williams has distinguished himself in the evolving law related to national security and terrorism. Professor Williams has extensive practical and teaching experience. Prior to teaching, Professor Williams worked in Washington D.C. at the Lawyers Alliance For World Security, a non-profit organization designed to stop the spread of nuclear weapons worldwide. He worked at Cravath Swaine and Moore in New York, and was a senior associate in the civil litigation department at Luce Forward Hamilton & Scripps in San Diego, CA. Before becoming a member of the tenure tack faculty at Western State, Professor Williams previously taught law at the California Western School of Law, including courses in National Security Law and Ethics. He specializes in national security law and international terrorism. Professor Williams has appeared on television numerous times to discuss national security issues and has authored several news articles on terrorism.
J.D., The George Washington University Law School
B.A., University of Albany, State University of New York
Constitutional Law I and II
Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
Professor Sobel was Executive Director of Equality Advocates when that organization advanced noteworthy state and national legislative successes; she is an award winning teacher who has written and lectured on legal issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity.
Professor Sobel joined Western State's faculty in the fall of 2009. She teaches Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and Sexual Orientation, Gender identity and the Law.
Before coming to WSCL, she was a lecturer of law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School where she taught lawyering in the Public Interest and Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and the Law. Professor Sobel taught at Penn Law for five years and received its Adjunct Teaching Award in 2007. She was also a lecturer at Rutgers University School of Law – Camden in 2009 and an assistant professorial lecturer at law at the George Washington University Law School from 1992 to 1996.
Professor Sobel served as Equality Advocates Pennsylvania's (formerly the Center for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights) executive director from 2001 to 2008. While at Equality Advocates, she was part of the leadership teams that defeated legislation attempting to prohibit relationship recognition for non-married couples in the Pennsylvania Constitution in 2006 and 2008, and amended the state's hate crimes law to include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, among other groups in 2002. She drafted the hate crimes legislation's text, which was one of the most comprehensive in the country and the first Pennsylvania law to recognize the LGBT community. Under her leadership, Equality Advocates successfully advocated before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court as co-council for the amici curiae for second parent adoption and custody rights for LGBT parents, and as co-council with the City of Philadelphia to uphold its domestic partnership benefits. Prior to joining Equality Advocates, she was the legal director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), where she assisted military members who were harmed by “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” and monitored its implementation.
Professor Sobel has provided legal and government affairs services for clients including the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Women's Law Project among others. Her pro bono work includes serving on the Clinton/Gore transition team and the White House Office of Presidential Personnel in 1992 and 1993. Before she attended law school, she worked for the New York State Assembly House Operations Committee and the New York State Governor's Office of Employee Relations.
J.D., Harvard Law School
M.F.A. University of California, Irvine
A.B., Harvard/Radcliffe Colleges
Agency and Partnership
Gender and the Law
Susan Keller first joined the faculty at Western State University College of Law in 1989 after teaching at the University of Miami and clerking for the Hon. Robert N. Wilentz, Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court. She has published extensively in the area of Feminist Legal Theory, exploring the legal treatment of gender and sexuality. In 2002, she received a Masters degree in Creative Writing at the University of California at Irvine. From 2004 to 2007, Professor Keller served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, overseeing the academic program. After returning to teaching for three years, she resumed the position of Associate Dean in 2010.
J.D., Stanford University
LL.M., Yale University
A.B., Princeton University
Constitutional Law I and II
Professor Brower received his A.B. from Princeton University and subsequently won a Fulbright-Hays scholarship to France to teach and do research. Following graduation from law school, Professor Brower joined a major San Francisco law firm. He became a member of Western State's full-time faculty in 1983. He was co-counsel pro bono in Karahalios v. Defense Language Institute, argued before the United States Supreme Court in the 1988 term. In 2002-2003, Professor Brower was an Academic Visitor at the Institute for Advanced Legal Studies – University of London. He is the author of two surveys and Reports on Sexual Orientation Fairness in the United Kingdom (2003) and (2005) and several law review articles and academic manuscripts on constitutional law, discrimination law, and sexuality and the law. Professor Brower is the Judicial Education Director of the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law & Public Policy at the UCLA School of Law and has taught judges and court staff across the US and internationally. He has served on the California Judicial Council – Access and Fairness Committee. Courses taught: Constitutional Law, Property, Sexual Orientation and the Law.
J.D., Drake University Law School
B.A., Cornell College
Professor Porter has taught widely at law schools throughout the Midwest and overseas; she is an authority on real estate and probate matters. Professor Porter earned her J.D. from Drake University Law School, where she was an NAACP Earl Warren Scholar and a Sadie T.M. Alexander Law Scholar. Before arriving at Western State, she was on the faculty of the Southern Illinois University School of Law and has had extensive law faculty experience in the Midwest and in China.
Professor Porter's previous professional experiences included positions in both government and private sector settings. She was the principal of the Law Offices of Tracie R. Porter, LLC, a practice focused on diverse areas of real estate and business law, including transactional and litigation cases, corporate law, and probate proceedings. Before starting her own law firm, she was a litigator with the United States Department of Labor in Chicago and an associate with the Chicago firms Barnes & Thornburg and Brown Udell & Pomerantz.
Professor Porter has held numerous leadership positions in national and local bar associations, including the ABA Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law and the Young Lawyers Division, the Cook County Bar Association of Chicago, the Chicago Bar Association, the Black Women Lawyers Association of Chicago, the Illinois State Bar Association's Real Estate Law Section Council, and the Illinois Real Estate Lawyers Association.