Naomi Harlin Goodno: Assistant Professor of Law at Pepperdine University School of Law, Malibu, CA

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                            Naomi Harlin Goodno: Assistant Professor of Law at
                            Pepperdine University School of Law, Malibu, CA
                            [By Kenneth Davis]
                            Professor Naomi Harlin Goodno was in the eighth grade when she decided that she wanted a career in law, and the
                            environment in which she grew up played a part in that decision.




“I felt like it was a profession where it gave     Goodno also helped with two trials while at      thought in my life that I would want to teach
you the skills to really make a change or          the firm. The first one was a wiretapping        law students.”
to make a difference,” she said. “I was one        case, for which she assisted with trial
of those idealistic first-year law students        preparation. The second was a bench trial, in    Goodno said two of the main factors in her
that really thought the skills I would learn       which the firm’s client was being sued by his    decision to continue teaching were the
would help make a change. And also, I grew         former attorney for breach of contract. The      students’ enthusiasm and the freedom she
up in a really bad neighborhood, and so I          firm countersued for breach of fiduciary duty.   had to research subjects that interested her.
saw criminal justice issues firsthand, so to
speak.”                                            “As the only associate on the case, I worked     “[The students] were just so intelligent and
                                                   it up for trial and also drafted the appellate   energetic, and the first-years, in particular,
Since she began practicing law seven years         brief,” she said. “We won the bench trial,       are so excited about being in law school,”
ago, Goodno has gained a broad view of the         which was appealed to the California             she remarked. “And it was exciting to me, so
legal profession, as she has seen it from two      Appellate Court; we also won the appeal.”        I loved that. And as far as the research side
very different perspectives: a litigator’s and a                                                    goes, it’s just terrific. Whatever I’m interested
law professor’s. Before joining the faculty at     Goodno explained why she joined Quinn            in I can decide, on my own, to research. And
Pepperdine University School of Law in 2003,       Emanuel:                                         I’ve just gotten interested in a bunch of human
she worked as an associate for four years at                                                        rights issues, and my job allowed me to do it,
litigation boutique Quinn, Emanuel, Urquhart,      “The reason why I went to that firm was          and I went to Africa over the summer to work
Oliver & Hedges in its Los Angeles office.         because it’s hard to get trial experience or     with some attorneys in Kenya.”
There, she worked on a number of civil and         even in-court experience, depositions, or
criminal cases, including white-collar crime,      anything like that with your larger firms,”      Goodno teaches legal research and writing to
bankruptcy, class action, breach of contract,      she said. “I had a wonderful time at the firm,   first-year law students. She also teaches an
fraud, trademark, criminal embezzlement,           and I learned so much. All of what I teach I     academic support class in the spring called
and property and employment disputes.              picked up from there.”                           “Supplemental Property.”


Goodno said that she got a significant             Goodno said she got into teaching                “It is a class designated not really to teach
amount of courtroom experience at Quinn            accidentally and originally had no plans to      properties but more to help students learn
Emanuel.                                           make a career of it. She had planned to work     how to outline and prepare for exams,”
                                                   for the U.S. Attorney’s Office after leaving     she explained. “So it’s usually targeted for
“I think for an associate at my level, I spent     Quinn Emanuel but got sidetracked.               students who apply because they think they
a lot of time in court,” she said. “The last                                                        need the extra help maybe in getting outlines
year I was at the firm, they let me run some       “Initially, it was kind of by accident,” she     together…those types of things.”
smaller cases. Obviously, I had a partner          said. “I heard about a position open at
over me. But they were all mine, so I could        Pepperdine, and I was thinking of just doing     Additionally, Goodno started the Academic
pretty much manage them how I wanted               it for a year. And that was the same year I      Success Program at Pepperdine this year.
to manage them. That was such a great              was getting married, and I thought it would      She said the program is designed to help
experience.”                                       be a nice job to have while I was planning       first-year law students make the “transition
                                                   my wedding. And then I just loved it. I never    between college and law school.”




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“[For] students who come right out of college      Goodno said that one of the things that she        “The students love him!” Goodno exclaimed.
and go to law school, the first semester is        emphasizes in her classes is concise writing.      “He’s very charismatic, and, of course, he’s
sort of a shock because it’s a lot more like a                                                        a partner at a huge law firm. They’re very
job,” she said. “I mean, you really do have to     “There seems to be a real movement to write        excited to hear what he has to say, and he
work eight hours a day and go to class. So we      very simple, straightforward [...] writing,        backs me up on everything, which is really
try to get them to treat it like a job right off   which is hard for first-year law students,”        nice.”
the bat.”                                          she said. “One reason is they’re coming out
                                                   of college usually, so they’ve actually never      Goodno said that this will be her last year
She added that she and her colleagues              been critiqued sentence by sentence, so            teaching at Pepperdine, as she plans to
present lectures on how to take tests, and         they tend to write [in a] long, flowery type       clerk next year for the Ninth Circuit Court of
they give students practice exams. They also       of language. And they also read these cases        Appeals.
provide students with tips on how to study         in their first semester of law school that
for finals.                                        are usually really old, and they’re written        “I tell my students how important it is to
                                                   in long sentences, and they’re hard to get         do your clerkship,” she said. “And I feel
Goodno said that in the first semester of          through. And then, what we’re teaching them        somewhat of a hypocrite because I never did
her legal research and writing class, she          is to write in plain English. I really wish that   it myself, and I thought it would be a good
teaches objective writing, and in the second       when I was in law school, somebody had             opportunity for me.”
semester, she teaches persuasive writing.          taught me some tricks on how to just write
During the objective writing portion of the        simple, plain, concise writing because, again,     Although Goodno plans to go back to
course, Goodno gives her students three            I think more than ever, and even more so           teaching after she finishes her clerkship,
memos to write.                                    when they graduate, it’s going to all be about     she said it probably won’t be at Pepperdine
                                                   the arguments made on paper [...]. I really        because she and her husband are thinking
“They’re hypothetical, but they’re usually         think to be a successful attorney, you have        about moving. She’s also not sure if she’ll
fun,” she said. “Like this year, we did a false    to be able to write really well, not to just the   continue to teach legal writing and research,
imprisonment claim, and it was hypothetical.       judges but also to your clients. Nowadays, so      since she’d like to have more time to do her
I had a law professor tell students that they      many judges decide things on paper without         own research.
couldn’t leave the classroom, and we were          really entertaining oral arguments.”
wondering if they felt [...] that was false                                                           “Legal research and writing takes a lot
imprisonment or not, and so they [had to]          Goodno also explained what she teaches             of time in the semester to grade papers
write out a memo.”                                 her students with regard to research to help       because you’re giving so much feedback,”
                                                   them achieve better and faster results:            she explained. “And the only way you can
Goodno said that during the persuasive                                                                really have your students learn is by giving
writing portion of her course, she has             “We try to teach them just to really have          good feedback. I’d like to just spend more
each student write a motion for summary            a plan and methodically approach it,” she          time doing some research, so I’m hoping
judgment and then an appellate brief that          said. “And eventually they’ll get there, and       to teach substantive courses, which would
usually involves a constitutional issue on         if they have a plan, we try to emphasize that      allow me time to do research on my own.
which the student actually presents an oral        they’ll get there a lot faster than just doing a   But certainly, as a law school, I can’t speak
argument in front of mock judges.                  random search. But I think even more than          highly enough about my colleagues at
                                                   when I was in law school, you know, because        Pepperdine—a really good group of people
In addition, Goodno co-coaches Pepperdine’s        of the Internet, they feel that they can type in   who really care about their students.”
trial advocacy teams. The school sends out         one term and get what they need. And they
three teams every semester to different trial      can, but it just takes three times longer and      Goodno recently completed an article
competitions against other schools.                three reams of paper.”                             on cyberstalking, which is scheduled to
                                                                                                      be published next spring in the Missouri
“I’ve done it for three years, and we managed      Goodno said she often invites her former           Law Review. And she has another article
to win regionals a couple of times and win a       colleagues from Quinn Emanuel to come              about California’s Three Strikes Law that
couple of other awards,” she said. “So that’s      down and speak to her students. She said that      is scheduled to be published in the Golden
a lot of fun.”                                     name partner Eric Emanuel has visited her          Gate University Law Review next spring, as
                                                   class every year since she began teaching.         well. Furthermore, she is currently working



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on an article about how “international law       Hall School of Law in August of 996 and          “She deserves a lot of credit for being a great
is intercepting with criminal law and human      graduated in May of 998. She spent her last      mother,” Goodno said. “She was really a big
rights issues.”                                  year of law school studying at Harvard Law        part of encouraging me to pursue a career
                                                 School through the Harvard Law Exchange           in law.”
Goodno completed her undergraduate work          Program. Goodno was also involved in the
at Princeton University, graduating with an      Harvard Mediation Program and worked as           Goodno and her husband, who is an
A.B. in History in 995. Following graduation,   an advocate in the domestic violence unit         aerospace physicist, just celebrated their
she taught for a year at King’s Kids Inner-      of the Cambridge Police Department. She           third anniversary. They don’t have any
City High School Academy in Phoenix, AZ.         joined Quinn Emanuel in September of 999.        kids yet, but they have what she calls a
Goodno said the school was for troubled                                                            “Rottweiler cross-mutt that’s 80 pounds of
kids who had been involved in gang-related       Goodno had the following advice for recent        love.”
crimes and were expelled from public             law school graduates:
schools. She had about 32 students in her                                                          ON THE NET
class, and their ages ranged from 4 to 20.      “I would just say that they should not feel as
Goodno taught her students history, English,     if the only track for them is to be in a firm,”   Pepperdine University School of Law
math, and Spanish.                               she said. “You know, certainly it’s a great       law.pepperdine.edu
                                                 experience to have, and I would encourage
“It was such a great experience for me,” she     every law student after law school to maybe       Quinn, Emanuel, Urquhart, Oliver & Hedges
said. “But it was tough—tougher than any         do some kind of work in the private industry      www.quinnemanuel.com/home.aspx
law student could ever be.”                      or at a firm. But I think they have to keep
                                                 in mind [that] that certainly does not have       Cambridge Police Department
One of Goodno’s high school students went        to be the end of their career. It can just be     www.cambridgepolice.org
on to college and is now a social worker.        a stepping stone to many other things. So I
                                                 would say, ‘Keep your options open,’ because
“She was the first in her family to ever         I never in my wildest dreams thought I would
graduate high school,” Goodno said. “I mean,     want to be a law professor or that I would be
we lost a couple back to the streets. But if     able to be a law professor, but I’m doing it,
you can see one success story, it’s worth it.”   and it’s gratifying.”


After her teaching assignment was up,            Goodno was born in Albuquerque, NM. She was
Goodno began attending UC Berkeley’s Boalt       an only child and was raised by her mother.




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