When Kenneth Greenman ‘71 enrolled at California Western School of Law in the fall of 1968, little did he and subsequently his wife, Patricia, realize that this was the beginning of a long and enduring relationship with the law school.
A relationship that on Tuesday, April 20, was recognized as California Western President and Dean Sean Scott hosted a ceremony renaming the Law Review Suite, which is also home to the International Law Journal, as the Kenneth and Patricia Greenman Law Review Suite in honor of the couple’s decades-long support and generosity to the law school.
A Castetter alumnus—so named in recognition of the legendary Dean Robert Castetter—Greenman excelled at California Western. He was Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review, received American Jurisprudence Awards in Wills and Trusts, Corporations and Conflicts of Law. He received the Dean’s Award-Outstanding Law Student and graduated Magna Cum Laude.
“Dean Castetter was very influential during my time at California Western,” says Greenman. “I worked closely with him as Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review, President of Phi Alpha Delta, and various student committees. The Dean provided me with constant support as I managed the Law Review during difficult financial times at the law school.”
Upon graduation, Greenman was selected as a United States Attorney General Honor Law Graduate Fellow, serving as an Attorney in the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), Washington, D.C., U.S. Supreme Court appellate section.
Greenman left the DOJ in early 1972, accepting a position with the San Diego City Attorney's Office.
“I took this position over the District Attorney's and U.S. Attorney's offer of employment in San Diego because the City Attorney's Office offered immediate trial experience,” says Greenman. “I started trying cases my first day, and before I left, I had tried over 100 cases.”
In 1973, he established his own firm in San Diego and became a litigator. In 1983, Greenman merged his firm with another law firm to become a founding partner of Greenman, Lacy, Klein, O’Harra and Heffron in Oceanside, Calif.
“When my senior partner, who only practiced estate planning, trust, wills, and probate law elected to retire, I decided to take over his practice and retire from litigation,” says Greenman. “I loved working on a long-term basis with my many clients. I became their family attorney and enjoyed being able to help so many families with their estate plans and providing care for their family members.”
Greenman is quick to point out his wife Patricia’s pivotal role in his time at California Western and throughout his career. They met at the Law Review Office in 1970. They became engaged in Greenman’s last year in law school and were married in September 1971 after he took the summer bar exam. They are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year.
With the full support of his wife, Greenman’s gratitude and love of California Western stayed ever strong, and he has the distinction of being a member of the first Alumni Association, the Council of Visitors, and has served on the Board of Trustees since 1994, of which he is currently Chair Emeritus.
As Chairman of the Board for 13 years, Greenman spent thousands of hours away from home, attending numerous meetings, social events, student award programs, conferences, and Consortium meetings in Boston and Europe.
“Patti has been very supportive, participating in many law school activities and critiquing my speeches, writings, and presentations,” says Greenman. “She was always very understanding and accepting of my time away and supportive of my commitment to California Western.”
For Greenman, California Western has always been a family affair. Their daughter, Kelly Hinds Greenman ’05, followed in her father’s footsteps in attending California Western.
“I was pleased to hear that she was considering law school,” says Greenman. “Naturally, I told her that if you’re going to law school in San Diego, there’s only one law school.”
Kelly thrived at California Western, and when she graduated, she had a unique experience that will last well beyond her legal career. “My dad hooded me, and his signature is on my diploma,” Kelly recalls.
Recognizing the Greenman’s lasting legacy at California Western, Dean Sean Scott said, “We are delighted to honor Ken and Patti Greenman and are grateful for their continuing support of California Western. While they have supported the law school in many ways for more than half a century, I think it is particularly fitting that the Law Review Suite carry the Greenman name for years to come, as the Law Review was such an important part of Ken’s experience as a California Western student and alumnus, with Patti supporting him in those efforts.”
Greenman was the keynote speaker for the alumni at the 100th birthday anniversary celebration of the late, legendary Dean Robert Castetter in September 2019, held in the Castetter Courtyard on campus.
In his speech, Greenman referenced “the Castetter Commitment” which he and Patricia have lived by ever since he graduated from law school.
“In essence,” he says. “It is our opportunity to express our gratitude for the impact California Western has had on our lives. My legal education and practice of law were truly a blessing, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Patti and I want to ensure that these opportunities are available to future California Western students, as we believe it is our responsibility to give back to Cal Western to make certain that this occurs.”