Following two weeks of speaker sessions, courses and research, the six 2022 Renne Public Law Group Fellows concluded their fellowship program on June 24.

“Our firm is committed to creating learning opportunities for the next generation of aspiring attorneys,” said RPLG Founding Partner Jon Holtzman. “Our 2022 fellowship cohort is an impressive group, and the sessions during the last two weeks have prepared these students for impactful careers in the field of public law.”

RPLG’s fellowship program was held remotely June 13-24. Each day, fellows engaged with municipal law experts, learning about contemporary local government topics and challenges facing communities. Presenters and panelists shared insights with the fellows regarding best practices and solutions for addressing issues through public law.

The curriculum included presentations and moderated discussions among renowned industry leaders and distinguished attorneys. The speaker lineup included:

  • Willie L. Brown Jr, former Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco
  • Steve Kawa, Former Assistant Chief of Staff to Mayor Brown and Former Chief of Staff to Mayor Newsom and Mayor Lee
  • Masa Shiohira, Deputy County Counsel at the County of Santa Clara
  • Debra Gill, Former Director of Human Resources and Labor Relations at the City of Pleasanton
  • Adris Graham, Employee Relations Director at the City and County of San Francisco
  • Randi Johl, Legislative Director for the California City Clerks Association
  • Jesse O’Sullivan, Policy Counsel at Circulate San Diego
  • Suzanne Dershowitz, Staff Attorney at Public Advocates
  • Rafael E. Alvarado, City Attorney of the City of Fremont
  • Molly Stump, City Attorney of the City of Palo Alto
  • Nicolas Heidorn, Founder and Director of the California Local Redistricting Project
  • Ann Ravel, Commissioner of the Federal Election Commission
  • Eli Beckman, Councilmember, and former Mayor of the Town of Corte Madera
  • Julian Gross, Attorney
  • Carolyn Gonot, General Manager and CEO of the Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority (VTA)
  • Janice Li, Member of the Bay Area Rapid Transit Board of Directors
  • Sean McGlynn, City Manager of the City of Escondido
  • Matthew Lee, General Counsel at CA Department of Cannabis Control
  • John Haschak, Third District Supervisor at Mendocino County
  • David Winnacker, Fire Chief at Moraga-Orinda Fire District.

“RPLG’s fellowship program was a unique opportunity to learn from some of the most seasoned and established figures in the public law sector,” said Evan Zepada, a rising second year law student at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law. “It’s an experience I will always remember, and I look forward to applying the lessons I learned here throughout my career.”

In addition to the speaker series, each fellow produced a research project focused on a pressing local government issue. The research project is designed to give the fellows hands-on exposure to various municipal policy areas, with the goal of making the world a better place by improving local communities. As a capstone to the 2022 Fellowship Program, the students shared key takeaways and insights from their projects with program participants.

Beyond the speaker series and research projects, each fellow was assigned an RPLG mentor. RPLG’s experienced attorneys provided personalized guidance and targeted feedback to each fellow throughout the program. In addition to developing meaningful relationships with RPLG attorneys, program participants had opportunities to network with other students and learn from their experiences.

“RPLG’s 2022 Fellowship program has empowered me to explore some of the most pivotal state policy issues, culminating in a final research project which I am proud of,” said Saif Ali, a rising second-year law student at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law. “Participating in this program has been an inspiring and rewarding experience, and I am grateful to each speaker, colleague and mentor for their support and guidance.”

“2022 marks RPLG’s third annual fellowship program and I am always amazed by each students’ aptitude and eagerness to learn,” said RPLG Founding Partner Art Hartinger. “Each fellow demonstrated strong professional growth during the program, and I am excited to watch this cohort make an impact in the legal community.”