Class of 2017
Hometown: Benicia, CA
Undergraduate: UC Davis
Major: Environmental Policy, Analysis, and Planning
Jess Gosney graduated in May 2017 and is the Class of 2017 Valedictorian for the JD Day Division.
Prior to McGeorge, Jess attended UC Davis and majored in environmental policy, analysis, and planning, writing an honors thesis titled 'Greenhouse Gas Emission Impacts on Vegetation Around the Causeway'. She spent a summer in D.C. working in California's federal office and took graduate courses at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, where she wrote a graduate thesis on water development in Laos. Since she was far from her UC Davis ski team, she stayed active in the Netherlands by biking, climbing, running, and backpacking around Europe.
After college, she pursued her passion for the environment, co-organizing the U.S. Forest Service's inaugural International Climate Change Seminar, attended by 23 foreign climate officials from 22 countries. The seminar lasted 30 days and traveled across California and to D.C. Jess then dived into political campaigning, working for three years as a national campaigner with MoveOn.org and before that running California campaigns with the California Public Interest Research Group.
Currently, while Jess finishes her last year of law school, she lives in Davis with her husband, three year old daughter, and six-toed cat, Digits. On Fridays, she volunteers at her daughter's preschool, mentioning, "art table is the best volunteer rotation, in case you were wondering." Her beloved daughter is a reason why Jess chose McGeorge, commenting on the law school's family-friendly environment since many students balance school, work, and family.
In addition to that, the school is in close proximity to the Capitol. Since Jess hopes to work in legislation after graduating from McGeorge with a Capital Lawyering Certificate of Concentration, the school was a top choice. As the Editor-in-Chief of The University of the Pacific Law Review, her exemplar reviews on recently enacted California legislation have been published in the school's student-run, scholarly journal. Jess analyzed Proposition 62, on the Death Penalty, in the California Initiative Review Volume 13, and she presented her analysis at a Forum event on Oct. 25, 2016 (watch) and on Fox 40 news.
While Jess may have gone to law school on a whim, it is hard to imagine life at McGeorge Law School without her presence. Even beginning with her first year, she has been incredibly successful. As a Torts and Principles of Legal Analysis teaching assistant in her second and third years of law school, she has built both meaningful and professional relationships with both professors and students. Through her motivating work ethic and delightful personality, she has had an uncommonly positive impact on the McGeorge community.