McGeorge School of Law

McGeorge hosting retreat honoring Trina Grillo, promoting social justice

February 20, 2020

University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law this month will host an event promoting social justice that allows public interest-minded law students to learn about career opportunities.

The 22nd annual Trina Grillo Public Interest and Social Justice Retreat “Advancing Social Justice from Within” will be Feb. 28–29, with tours of the Capitol Building the first day and a series of discussions on the Sacramento Campus the following day.

“It is especially exciting to be hosting this year’s Trina Grillo Social Justice Retreat, because the focus of the retreat is social justice and activism in and around the government,” said Molly Stafford, McGeorge’s assistant dean of career development and external relations. “McGeorge is uniquely situated in Sacramento. Our proximity to the state Capitol and focus on educating the next generation of attorneys and activists working at the intersection of law and policy allows us to highlight the powerful justice work being done by lawyers, lobbyists and legislative professionals in the capital arena.”

About 100 people, mostly law students from sponsoring law schools and a few faculty members and administrators, will attend. Stafford said the focus of the event is to reenergize, refocus and reconnect law students with their social justice career goals. Speakers at the event will include alumni and faculty from sponsoring law schools.

The event, which is hosted on a rotating basis by mostly California law schools, is named after University of San Francisco law professor Trina Grillo who died in 1996 from Hodgkin’s disease just days before she turned 48.

Grillo was known for her teaching style that celebrated differences. She used student collaboration and active learning to create a community for students from diverse backgrounds — by class, race, gender, sexual orientation or physical and cognitive abilities — so they could thrive. Grillo’s scholarly works often focused on righting wrongs suffered by people.

McGeorge professor Ederlina Co and emeriti Brian and Dorothy Landsberg are among the scheduled speakers.

Sessions will cover “Education, Equity and Policy;” “Coalition Building Our Way to Solutions in and around the Capitol;” “Voter Suppression: Election Protection;” “Leaving a Legacy of Social Justice;” “Sexual Harassment and Discrimination in Government/Social Justice Work;” “Career Visioning;” and “Binding Balance and Well-being within the Social Justice Context.”

Besides University of the Pacific, the retreat is sponsored by law schools from Pepperdine; Santa Clara University; Southwestern; UC Berkeley; UC Davis; UC Hastings; UCLA; University of Nevada, Las Vegas; William S Boyd School of Law; University of San Francisco; USC and University of Washington. The Society of American Law Teachers is also a sponsor.