Success Stories
GGU Law student
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November 22, 2021 |
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Passion for Social Justice Fuels Law Student’s Success

Leslie Estrada Flynn overcame long odds to pursue a law degree at GGU. She wants to use her education to help marginalized communities like the one she’s from remove barriers to education, employment, and healthcare.

By Jenny McKeel
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Growing up in an underserved Black and Latinx community in south Los Angeles, first-year law student Leslie Estrada Flynn didn’t always know that she wanted to be a lawyer.

“In my neighborhood, there were kids that weren’t told that they could do really great things with their lives,” recalls Leslie. “A lot of people didn’t have great jobs and relied on food stamps or Section 8 housing. The apartments we lived in were broken down. We had slum lords.”

As a child, she felt hopeless because she didn’t think there was anything she could do to improve her situation or help her community.

Her father, a machinist, and mother, a house cleaner, were dedicated to Leslie and her brother and made their education the number one priority, enrolling them in in a small, private Christian school through subsidized tuition.

“It took me a long time to get to where I am today,” reflected Leslie. “It took a lot of people encouraging me. My parents sacrificed so that we could pursue our dreams and ambitions. They pushed us to do the most we could.”

Advocating for Change

Eventually, Leslie realized that she wanted to help neighborhoods like the one she grew up in.

“There were a lot of incredible people in my neighborhood,” she commented. “I’ve had friends who succumbed to drug abuse, gang activity, who ended up going to juvenile hall. I wanted to help them but didn’t know how. I believe if we implemented policies that remove barriers to education, employment, and health care our communities would be better off.”

After graduating from Cal State University, Dominguez Hills in 2016, Leslie worked for Human Rights Watch advocating at the state level for Senate Bill 1391, which ended the transfer of youth under age 16 to adult criminal court where they were being tried as adults. In addition, she worked with Reform L.A. Jails as a community organizer garnering support from the county to pass Measure R, which overwhelmingly won with the mandate to create more accountability over the Sherriff’s Department that watches over jails and instruct lawmakers to create a plan to reduce the jail population.

GGU Law Bound

Once Leslie set her sights on law school, GGU caught her interest due to its proximity to social justice nonprofits and because she knew it was a small community that cared about its students.

“I like that it’s a smaller law school focused on churning out good advocates,” said Leslie. “During the online tour, faculty made me feel really welcomed. I like that the student population is extremely diverse. I am drawn to that strong sense of community.”

Leslie is an alum of LEAP (Legal Education Access Pipeline) program, formed to introduce underrepresented prospective law students to law school and to help them produce the best possible law school application. She also received the Pipeline to Practice fellowship which gives 40-50 diverse students each year a fellowship and academic support during three years of law school, and the Change Lawyers scholarship which gives 30 awards nationally to diverse first-year law school students.

“I’m so grateful to these programs because if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here right now,” said Leslie. “I feel so blessed and privileged to be where I am.”

As a first-year law student, Leslie is adjusting well to the rigors of law school. Her professors have been extremely helpful and she appreciates the diversity of professional backgrounds in the student body.

“I’ve met people who have military experience, people who have done policy work, people straight out of undergrad, parents,” said Leslie. “It’s refreshing because every day you’re learning about your classmates and their work.”

Passion for Public Interest

Her professional goal is to work in public interest law, be it government work or operating at the grassroots level.

“It’s my hope to work alongside marginalized communities, using the tools that I have to help them further their goals through policy work,” said Leslie. “I was privileged in that I had the education to get to where I am today and I want to give back. That’s just what I feel I’m here for: to serve others.”

She’s grateful for all the people behind her, watching out for her, encouraging her, and cheering her on; She believes that it takes a village.

“GGU Law is really demanding, but it is doable for someone like me who doesn’t come from a prestigious background. GGU has a great small community of people that are really invested in you. You never know until you go for it. To prospective law students I would say, just go for it.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Attention new GGU Summer Term students! 📢 Join us for Student Success Orientation on Wed. 5/4. You'll get all the information you need to ensure academic success and social engagement at GGU. We'll connect you to a host of resources to help you transition successfully into the university. Register today for the Zoom link. ow.ly/o1AP50IUVUs ... See MoreSee Less

Attention new GGU Summer Term students! 📢 Join us for Student Success Orientation on Wed. 5/4. Youll get all the information you need to ensure academic success and social engagement at GGU. Well connect you to a host of resources to help you transition successfully into the university. Register today for the Zoom link. http://ow.ly/o1AP50IUVUs

Congrats!!Congratulations Cathryn! She finally got to walk with her colleagues and other graduates of Golden Gate University at Oracle Park in San Francisco! The classes of 2020, 2021, and 2022 were well represented! Master's Degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and High Honors. I am so proud of you my darling! #graduation ... See MoreSee Less

Congrats!!

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Congratulations 🎊 🎈 🎉

Lahore from Pakistan 🇵🇰

Curious about how many students didn't get a ceremony due to covid, and never got an email about this year's ceremony? Did this happen to anyone else? Please comment if you're also in this boat.

GGU's 2022 Commencement Ceremony livestream is starting soon!

Watch on YouTube starting at 10 a.m. PT ow.ly/gepT50IQxKB
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GGUs 2022 Commencement Ceremony livestream is starting soon! 

Watch on YouTube starting at 10 a.m. PT http://ow.ly/gepT50IQxKB

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I am so grateful that we could attend. Thank you, GGU

Curious about how many students didn't get a ceremony due to covid, and never got an email about being able to join this year's ceremony? Did this happen to anyone else? Please comment if you're also in this boat.

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The grad ceremony was amazing! Thank you to the faculty and everyone involved in organizing and preparing for this event. Much love to all. 🙏❤️

Timeline photosDear GGU Law Community:

It is with great sadness that I write to share news of the passing of Peter Keane, who died Sunday after a long illness. Peter Keane served as Dean of Golden Gate University School of Law from 1999-2003 and later, as a much beloved classroom teacher of Constitutional Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence Law, and Professional Responsibility. Dean Keane always said that his greatest pleasure at GGU was getting to know, teach and learn from his students.

In addition to his contributions at GGU, Dean Keane was a prominent member of the San Francisco and California legal communities. Among other distinctions, he was appointed to the San Francisco Ethics Commission and served both as President of the Bar Association of San Francisco and as Vice-President of the State Bar of California. His law reform achievements were notable, including authoring San Francisco’s Handgun Control Ordinance and California Proposition 190, which reformed the State Commission on Judicial Performance.

Drucilla Ramey, who followed Dean Keane as Dean, remembered him this way: “Peter Keane was a courageous and inspirational leader of legal academia, the broader legal community, and his own beloved San Francisco. Whether as Chief Assistant Public Defender, President of the Bar Association of San Francisco, Dean of Golden Gate Law School or Chair of the San Francisco Ethics Commission, Peter met society’s greatest challenges head on, with his characteristic intelligence, bravery, and élan, and leaves behind him not only scores of loved ones, friends, and admirers, but also a more fair and equal system of justice.”

Dean Keane will be greatly missed by those at GGU whose lives he touched. Please join me in extending our condolences to his wife Nancy and their family. As soon as I have news of the celebration of his life, I will share it.

Sincerely,
Dean Colin Crawford
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I had the pleasure of working with Dean Keane as a Board member in the early 2000’s. He was a great leader and inspiration to those he taught. Deepest sympathies to Nancy and his family.

Professor Keane was one of my FAVORITE professors at GGU. Such a smart and sweet person. Condolences to his family.

A couple months ago I crossed paths with Professor Keane in the rose garden at GGP. He was quick with a kind word and a nice conversation. I sincerely appreciate having known and had my life enriched by this bright and thoughful man.

He was a great professor and person!

Always admired Peter Keane; a great los to the legal community and all the people of San Francisco

Rest In Peace.

He was a kind person. I am sorry for your loss.

RIP…

Sorry for your loss.

RIP

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