Alumni Memories

Love, The Law and Civil Procedure

As many siblings do, Agnes Martin ’01 followed in the footsteps of her brother Aram Ordubegian ’96 when she chose to attend Loyola Law School. While anticipating an outstanding legal education, she was also fortunate enough to meet the love of her life—G. Thomas (Tom) Martin III ’01. Tom and Agnes met on campus outside the Hall of the 70s on the very first day of orientation. 

As classmates in the same section, they began studying together and quickly fell in love. By the following year, their first year Civil Procedure professor, Christopher May, saw them together and said “Boy, if you can make it through the first year of law school and still be together, then you can make it through anything!” Tom proposed to Agnes after they took their last final together. 

They graduated, studied for and passed the bar together, and married in August of 2002. In the spirit of giving back, in 2005, the Martin and Ordubegian families endowed a scholarship in their names at Loyola and they continue to be involved with school functions and events. It turns out that Professor May was right and that Agnes and Tom continue to be happily married with two small children. They are both passionate about and practice Consumer Protection Law. A love for learning and the law sparked love between classmates and that will always remain at the heart of their adventure together in life. 

Forever Friendships Forged at Loyola - “The Dirty Half Dozen”

The crucible of three years in law school can forge lasting friendships, but perhaps none as strong or binding as the friendship of six women who attended Loyola Law School (LLS) in the early 1960s.  The six women came together as friends, at a time when they were practically the only women at LLS.  In those days, when we first started law school, LLS was housed in a little two-story Spanish style building on Grand between 11th and 12th. There were three classrooms of descending size from first year to third, and we were meant to know that our numbers would be winnowed accordingly.  Law school was serious and hard, certainly more than anything I had faced before in my 23 years, and as I looked around that first year class, female faces were in scant supply.

When I graduated, there were only 4 women among the 81 graduates. At the time, there were only 6,000 female attorneys in the entire United States. Understandably, the women students tended to hang together. Who can forget lunches at that emporium of comestible delight, the Tort Burger shack on the corner of 11th and Grand Ave. Since there was scant accommodation for female students at the school then, I remember we used to sit together on the loading dock at the back of school, chatting and laughing, with the alley and the trash cans for a view.

In 1964, one of the first things the group of six did collectively was to petition Loyola to open a women’s lounge, which as I recall didn’t consist of much more than a little room with a sofa and a coffee table. Luckily, by then times were starting to change and so was LLS, with a beautiful new school, with a women's lounge, just off Olympic between Valencia and Albany. The group consisted of Lola McAlpin-Grant ’66, Megan Geffeney-Wagner ’66, Patricia Phillips ’67, Paula (Anton) Tipton ’67, Patricia Lobello-Lamb ’67 and Janet Chubb ’67. We were there for each other through law school, helping each other through bad times, a cheering section for the good times. There is no doubt that our circle of friendship made the rigors of law school a great deal more endurable.

We actually didn’t get our name until 1969, when we were dubbed the “Dirty Half Dozen” by Hollywood composer and musician, George Tipton, Paula’s husband.  We all went on to varied and productive careers, but our friendship, forged in law school, grew stronger with the years. However, it didn’t just happen. We always made time for each other, seeing each other through careers, weddings, divorces, children and grandchildren.  Over the ensuing four decades, we have regularly put aside several weekends a year for “Dirty Half Dozen” get-togethers, and we have traveled together to Paris, Italy, China and Sicily. Now, 47 or 48 years after graduation, we still see each other as BFFs.  I think each of us loves LLS for all we learned there, but perhaps the best thing we received from Loyola was our friendship. Written by: Megan Wagner ’66  

‌Classmates Turn into Trusted Colleagues and Co-Workers

You hear time and again that the connections you make with your classmates in law school will stay with you throughout your career, and it sounds hard to believe but it has definitely rung true for Angela Agrusa ’87 and Stuart Liner ’87. After 16 years of practice, Angela and Stuart, who had kept in touch over the years, reunited as colleagues at Stuart's firm. These two classmates and friends had always kept in close contact throughout their careers. The duo originally met in Legal Writing class at Loyola and from there became study partners all through their time in law school.

After graduation, Angela and Stuart remained close, but both embarked down different career paths. As fate would have it, Loyola would not be the last time that they would work together. Stuart had started his own firm 15 years prior and had asked Angela if she’d like to join his practice, but the timing had never been right for her.

Finally, in 2006, she joined Liner Grode Stein Yankelevitz Sunshine Regenstreif & Taylor LLP as partner. One of the largest firms in Los Angeles, the firm covers a wide range of practice areas, including commercial litigation, intellectual property, white-collar crime and products liability. “It felt like we just picked up where we had left off. There’s a common theme among the partners whom I work with—we have a similar approach and sensibility to the way we run the practice,” Angela said.

Classmates, study partners, friends and colleagues—Angela and Stuart’s relationship is defined in many ways throughout the years. But the story would have never started if they hadn’t crossed paths at Loyola.  A common beginning to so many of the great alumni connections formed throughout the years at the Albany campus and beyond.

Mentors Help Motivate and Map out the Path for Recent Grads

Dennis Kass ’88 celebrates some of the biggest law school moments with his Loyola mentees—first exams, first depositions, first interviews and first job offers. He signed up for Loyola’s Mentor Program in 2003 and for him it’s not just a one year obligation, it's a relationship that lasts well beyond law school. Mentees become colleagues, and more often, good friends. “It’s a two way street – hopefully I have something to impart to them, but I get as much out of it as they do,” he said.

By taking one to three students each year, Dennis has created a network of more than 20 Loyola graduates who are now in various stages of their careers. Recently, one of his mentees decided to open a firm and the two met to discuss business issues. Having opened his own firm, Manning & Kass, Ellrod, Ramirez, Trester LLP, in 1994, Dennis was happy to offer advice on the process. “I’ve been down that road and it takes the relationship to another level. I really enjoy seeing how far they’ve come.” he said.

Every year Dennis invites his new mentees to a cocktail reception in his home to meet his past mentees, who impart advice and knowledge onto the new students each year. Not only is this a chance to network with other alumni in an informal setting, it’s an opportunity for him to get to know the students better. "Being accessible is the main thing," he said. "Students benefit when they have someone outside of their group of friends who they can turn to for some perspective."