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Three California Western Honorees at Tom Homann LGBT Law Association Gala

Jennifer N. Monterroso '15, Dean Emeritus Steven R. Smith and Professor Robert R. DeKoven

California Western was well-represented at the Tom Homann LGBT Law Association (THLA) gala on April 30, with three awardees recognized that evening.

The THLA Annual Scholarship was awarded to Jennifer N. Monterroso '15; Professor Robert R. DeKoven received the Community Pioneer Award; and the Friend of the Community Award was given to Dean Emeritus Steven R. Smith.

The awards are intended to recognize those who have made a difference in the lives of LGBT people as well as those who show the potential to do so in the future.

Monterroso is the outgoing president of PrideLaw, California Western’s LGBT student organization, and has shown exceptional promise as a leader and future lawyer. DeKoven was recognized for his advancement of LGBT rights, and his efforts in making the San Diego Human Dignity Ordinance a reality. Smith was recognized for his years of work on LGBT matters during his tenure as dean and through his service as chair of the ABA Section on Legal Education.

“THLA is a leader in the legal community that relentlessly pursues equality,” said Monterroso. “I am humbled to have been selected by such an inspiring group for a competitive scholarship.”

"I am grateful to be honored for my work on the Human Dignity Ordinance and having penned hundreds of articles that appeared in the press dealing with civil rights," said DeKoven. “But the honor really belongs to the California Western family. I am forever grateful for the education I received as a student here.”

“I am honored to receive the Friend of the Community Award,” said Smith. “It reflects California Western’s long-standing commitment to making the law school, the profession, and our society welcoming to everyone.”

Commitment to Diversity
California Western has a deep commitment to diversity among its student body, staff, and faculty. PrideLaw is an inclusive group that advocates for LGBT rights and provides mentoring for its members, among other activities designed to support LGBT law students.

The faculty includes leading scholars on LGBT issues, including Vice Dean Barbara Cox, who chairs the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the national organization Freedom to Marry.

About the Tom Homann LGBT Law Association
THLA is dedicated to the advancement of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender issues throughout California and the nation. It is the place for San Diego’s LGBT lawyers to network, build friendships, and develop their careers. THLA members are also committed to establishing and maintaining personal connections with the local law student community.