Legislative Advocate at California School Employees Association
Year Graduated: 2013
Undergraduate: University of Redlands
Major: BA, Government
Tristan Brown never saw himself in the courtroom. He often stated the benefits of a non-traditional legal career in politics as, "Traditional attorneys argue about the meaning of laws in court; however, I prefer other political tools and change the law entirely in the legislature."
Before attending Pacific McGeorge Brown served as a Political Director for a labor union and was confident in his career path. Many activities touched upon electoral law, campaign finance rules or regulations, first amendment law and employment law. It did not take long to see the benefits of having a legal foundation in order to continue to climb his career ladder. Brown soon came to realize what he needed to strengthen his talents within the political sphere; he needed to go to law school.
While working on his J.D., Brown sharpened a variety of skills that he would not have learned otherwise. His ability to advocate for better legislation, recognize potential liabilities, and solve complex problems all stem from his experience within the Capitol Center.
"It provides a tool set that non-legally trained people simply do not have. I know where to see issues, find answers, and have the training to find solutions. When tough decisions are on the line, that experience is bullet proof."
In addition to his formal legal training, Pacific McGeorge also provided Brown with an all-star network of professors and alumni in the political field. "I was taught by some of Sacramento's heavy hitters who provided real-world experience that you can't find in traditional casebooks."
Pacific McGeorge provided Brown with access to individuals and functions that could not be matched anywhere else. Brown also served as a law clerk for Olson, Hagel & Fishburn LLP, advising labor organizations and non-profits in order to navigate complex political or electoral laws and regulations.
Before Brown was a political director for the California United Homecare Workers Union, he was a campaign manager for Assemblyman Joe Baca Jr. for State Senate, and a campaign coordinator with Judge Pat Morris for Mayor of San Bernardino. Additionally, Brown has volunteered his time to an office in the California Assembly and currently works with the Pacific McGeorge Capital Center Advisory Board. As a member of the Advisory Board, he helps guide reform efforts for the current curriculum and alumni capital network at Pacific McGeorge.
He hopes to get McGeorge more involved with the capital. "It felt like every time I looked at the bio of a Sacramento Capital VIP, I found him or her to be an alumnus of Pacific McGeorge."
Brown stresses how beneficial relationships are between students and capital McGeorge alumni. "Having a strong relationship with people you work with is the key to success, not just in the Sacramento political sphere, but anywhere in life."
Although Brown has always been pretty certain on where he wanted to end up, Pacific McGeorge gave him valuable skill-sets and unfiltered access to important individuals in the political and legislative arena. He now serves public school employees as a lobbyist for the California School Employees Association, and is a Fellow with the New Leaders Council - Sacramento Chapter, a member of Free and Accepted Masons Sacramento Lodge 40 and supports the Sacramento Shriner's Hospital for Children.