Growing up I listened to my mom Sheila talk about her Loyola experience. I remember her praise for her professors, her deep, lifelong friendships with her classmates and her appreciation for her training. But even more impactful to me was watching my Mom conduct her legal career based on what she learned at Loyola. Loyola taught her to be independent and resourceful– she opened a solo practice in 1971 in Orange County when none of the big firms would hire a woman or promote any to partnership. Loyola taught her to be hard working, competent and ambitious – she was appointed to the California Court of Appeals as the then youngest Justice ever. Loyola taught her the most important lesson of all, to give back to the community – she filled her spare time with pro bono activities and community leadership at organizations such as Neighborhood Legal Services, Human Options, The Sheila Sonenshine Pro Bono Reception and the Orange County Bar Foundation.
I was eager to follow in her footsteps and my Loyola experience was just as fulfilling for me, though I can say reading some of her judicial decisions in class during my first year was a bit awkward! Congratulations to Loyola Law School on its centennial.