McGeorge School of Law

Aaron Brieno Alumni Spotlight

April 12, 2016

Aaron Brieno, '14

Aaron Brieno, '14


Aaron was born and raised in Hanford, California, a small agricultural town in the heart of California's Central Valley. Both Aaron's paternal and maternal grandparents migrated to the Central Valley to find work as farm laborers. Aaron's family instilled in him an appreciation for education; so after graduating from Hanford West High school, Aaron attended Chapman University and obtained a Bachelor's degree in Organizational Leadership.

He knew at an early age he wanted to pursue law school. "I decided I wanted to go to law school during the summer between 5th and 6th grade. During this period of time, my parents took my sister and I on a trip to the East Coast where we visited all the early American historical sights in Boston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and New York. After this trip, I became very interested in American history, politics and our nation's Constitution."

One summer, while on break from his undergraduate studies, Aaron served as his father's campaign manager during his bid for election onto the Kings County Board of Supervisors.

"While serving as my father's campaign manager, I gained first hand practical experience running a political campaign, organizing volunteers, and designing campaign materials.

I also gained a broader understanding of the important issues affecting California's Central Valley and I was personally able to meet and speak with hundreds of the district's constituents."

This experience fostered his interest in both local and state politics and reinforced his decision to attend law school.

Upon completion of his undergraduate studies, he decided to attend the McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific because "[he] had a strong interest in public interest law and public policy development. McGeorge's distinguished Capital Center for Law and Policy program and the law school's close proximity to California's Capital were a perfect fit for me! One of the things I appreciated most about attending McGeorge was the individual attention and opportunities for professional development I received from the extraordinary professors."

Since graduating in May of 2014, Aaron was admitted to the California Bar and is currently serving as a California Senate Fellow through a fellowship program jointly sponsored by the California State Senate and the Center for California Studies at California State University, Sacramento. The California Senate Fellows program has been ranked in the top ten training/internship programs in the nation - four years running - alongside of Google and the Smithsonian. Senate Fellows are assigned to the offices of a California Senator or Senate policy committee and work as part of the public policy staff team in the Capitol.

"I have been assigned to the office of Senator Ben Hueso. My responsibilities include helping develop legislative proposals, researching and analyzing bills, meeting with stakeholders regarding important issues the Senator may be asked to vote on, and drafting speech talking points for the Senator."

He enjoys working as a Senate Fellow because Fellows are placed with top-ranking policy makers, providing firsthand experience in the development and advancement of public policy and legislation. As an example, because Senator Hueso Chair's the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee, Aaron was able to attend a factory tour of Tesla's Freemont facility with other members of the Senate.

Additionally, Aaron is working to develop a 501(c)(3) California non-profit corporation, which would provide summer mentorship, college prep-counseling, and college campus field trips to Central Valley high school students in an effort to promote higher education in this drastically underserved region of California.