Note from the Executive Director – CBL Newsletter Spring 2020

It is an honor and privilege to join UC Hastings Law to help build from the ground up the Center for Business Law, in collaboration with an outstanding group of faculty, staff and advisors. Our mission is to bring together leading scholars, business leaders, practitioners, regulators and students to engage in the study, teaching and practice of business law at UC Hastings in San Francisco, one of the world’s great centers of commerce, finance and technology.

The history and tradition of UC Hastings is a deep one, dating back to 1878 as the first law school to open its doors out West. In fact, it was alumni from Hastings’ first 25 years that went on to build San Francisco’s legal community. Notable names from that era include Alexander Morrison (1881), founding partner of Morrison & Foerster, William Orrick (1903), founding partner of Orrick, Herrington & Stutcliffe, as well as Sidney Ehrman (1898) and Emmanuel Heller (1889), who created a partnership that became the San Francisco legal giant Heller Ehrman.

In 2020, we believe that UC Hastings’ Center for Business Law can, and should, play an important role in convening, shaping the debate and exploring some of the most important business law challenges within the current generation of companies. The business zeitgeist has shifted West (again) and some of the largest and most influential companies, such as Apple, Alphabet, Facebook and Salesforce, in addition to many other West-coast based technology companies, are dominating the headlines and shaping the future of society. Moreover, the shift is most pronounced in San Francisco, where many of the top public companies, “unicorns” and other startups are based – along with VC/PE investors, and the law firms that represent them. From Sand Hill Road and Page Mill Road to SOMA and the Financial District, the trend is clear, despite the winds of change from the current pandemic.

We are laying the foundations of the Center by creating new content, programs and events, with the support of new sponsors and partners. We are also excited about the launch of our new building at 333 Golden Gate Ave, part of the broader plan to create a UC Hastings Law Academic Village in the heart of San Francisco. So please stay tuned to our latest news and developments, and please do not hesitate to reach out to me in case you would like to contribute to our Center’s mission.

But most importantly, stay safe out there.


Evan Epstein

Executive Director of the Center for Business Law, and Adjunct Professor, UC Hastings Law.