Thomas Jefferson School of Law Hosts 11th Annual Judicial Mixer and Awards Reception
October 19, 2018 Education News(PRLEAP.COM) On Thursday, October 11th, Thomas Jefferson School of Law hosted its 11th Annual Judicial Mixer and Awards Reception. The event was held at the beautiful James M. Carter and Judith N. Keep United States Courthouse. Awards were presented to The Hon. John A. Houston, alumnus and plaintiffs' attorney Srinivas Hanumadass ('03), and alumnus and San Diego Public Defender Randy Mize ('87). Alumni Association President Brian Findley ('07) presided along with alumnus and chair of the Board of Trustees Randy Grossman ('94).
Judge Houston, Senior Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, was honored for his 20 years of service on the federal bench. A native of Greensboro, North Carolina, Judge Houston received his JD from the University of Miami. He began his career in the United States Army Judge Advocate General Corps, and served in the U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of California. He became a United States Magistrate Judge in 1998. In 2003, President George W. Bush nominated him to be a United States District Judge for the Southern District of California and he was confirmed that year. Judge Houston took senior status in February 2018. During his time on the bench, Judge Houston has worked with many Thomas Jefferson School of Law students, who have served as his externs and judicial clerks. Indeed, Shannon Laoye ('15) is presently clerking for Judge Houston.
Srinivas Hanumadass received the Outstanding Service to the Community Award. Vas, as he is widely known, moved to San Diego to attend Thomas Jefferson in 2000, after a stint working for U.S. Senator Richard Durbin. A member of the Thomas Jefferson Law Review, he graduated in 2003. An attorney at the elite San Diego plaintiffs' firm Casey Gerry Schenk Francavilla Blatt & Penfield LLP, Vas is recognized as a leader in the profession. He is Vice President and serves on the Board of Directors for the San Diego County Bar Association. He has twice served as president of the South Asian Bar Association, and he has served as chair of Scholarship Committee of Lawyers Club of San Diego, an association promoting the advancement of women. In 2016, the Daily Journal named him one of the "Top 40 Attorneys Under 40." Super Lawyers recognized him as a rising star in 2015 and 2016. In 2017 he was acknowledged as a Super Lawyer. Finally, for years, he has volunteered with Just in Time, an organization that supports foster youth in transition. Vas has been a friend and mentor to our students, providing invaluable guidance and advice.
Randy Mize was inducted into the TJSL Wall of Fame, an honor reserved for our most distinguished graduates. Randy serves as Public Defender of San Diego County. A 1987 graduate of the law school, who attended the school's part time program while running his own investigative services firm, Randy has worked for the Public Defender's Office since its establishment by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. He joined the office in 1988. During his long tenure, he has been head of the Juvenile Delinquency Branch, and served from 2009 – 2017 as the Primary Public Defender, heading a group of close to 300 employees. Appointed to the role of Public Defender in 2017, he now oversees not only the Primary Public Defender's Office, but also the Alternate Public Defender, Multiple Conflicts Office, and the Office of Assigned Counsel. Together those offices employ over 350 employees. These services, which were consolidated in 2009, serve indigent people charged with crimes. Those who lack the financial resources to hire private counsel receive the assistance of lawyers working for the San Diego Public Defender's Office. Randy is the second Thomas Jefferson graduate to serve as Public Defender of San Diego County. His immediate predecessor, Henry Coker ('85), is also a graduate of the law school.
The mission of Thomas Jefferson School of Law is to provide an outstanding legal education for a nationally-based, diverse student body in a collegial and supportive environment with attention to newly emerging areas of law, particularly those related to technological development, globalization, and the quest for social justice. More information is available at: www.tjsl.edu