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California Western Graduate Wendy Patrick Named American Law Institute Member

Wendy Patrick '94 with California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye

Passion. That's the one word that encompasses everything 1994 California Western graduate Wendy Patrick does. Another word is faith. And she packs more into each day than many of us do in a week.

Her day job is serving as a prosecutor in the Special Operations Unit of the San Diego District Attorney's Office. Her evening job is teaching business ethics at San Diego State University.

That doesn't begin to cover Patrick's activities, all of which she says are "a labor of love."

She is an ordained minister with a Ph.D. in theology; a best-selling author; a frequent legal commentator on national and local television; a first-violinist with the La Jolla Symphony; electric violinist with a rock band; an executive board member and team leader in the Louis Welch Inn of Courts, and a world traveler with her family.

Can she take on anything else? You bet.

Patrick's latest honor is an appointment as a member of the prestigious American Law Institute (ALI), where she has served for years as an advisor on issues involving sexual assault.

"It's a great opportunity," says Patrick. "It’s a great group of people and it's an honor to have been selected and a privilege to serve."

Patrick says that the people she works with at ALI share her passion for the law.

"ALI is the leading independent organization in the United States that produces scholarly work that seeks to clarify and improve existing law," Patrick says. "The amount of detail that goes into crafting these proposals is just incredible. Having sat in the room and participated in this process, I really wanted to have a greater role in making sure that together we can improve the state of the laws."

In 2014, Patrick was named California's Public Lawyer of the Year by the California Bar Public Law Section, an award presented by California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye.

Patrick's latest book, Red Flags: Frenemies, Underminers, and Ruthless People, is a thoroughly researched and well-documented work that also draws on Patrick's own experiences prosecuting sexual predators, human traffickers, stalkers, and manipulators in all shapes and sizes. Her goal is to help people identify and protect themselves from potentially harmful people they meet.

"I am passionate about empowering people through enhancing their ability to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their community," says Patrick, who is also the president of the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals' San Diego Chapter.

As for her experience at California Western, Patrick could not be more proud of the law school.

"California Western has such strong ties in the community alumni-wise and they are proactive about connecting students with like-minded professionals to build bridges that often lead to employment opportunities," she says. "That’s the way it happened for me—that’s the way it happened for many of my peers and colleagues."

If you ask if there are enough hours in the day for her to be Wendy Patrick, she says, "Absolutely—with effective time management, faith, and my secret weapon—sleep. Lots of it. When you are well-rested and healthy, you can do anything."