Liam Vavasour, a recipient of the Justice Anthony Kennedy Scholarship, received his J.D., summa cum laude, from California Western as part of the Class of 2014. While a student, he served as Editor-in-Chief of the California Western Law Review and received a number of awards. He also served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Irma E. Gonzalez, U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of California, and as a law clerk in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego.
An adjunct professor at California Western since 2019, Professor Vavasour joins the faculty full-time this fall to teach Legal Skills I and II and the Legal Scholarship Training Seminar. While in practice, he served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors.
Over the years, he has mentored a variety of diverse students and alumni, including through programs fostered by the Career and Professional Development Office, STEPPS, and the California Western Law Review and California Western International Law Journal. Having benefitted so much from the guidance and support of his mentors over the years, Professor Vavasour takes his role as a mentor to students and alumni especially seriously, paying forward his experiences as a California Western student.
“I would not be who I am today were it not for the mentors who have helped guide me and the sponsors that have supported me along the way,” said Professor Vavasour. “From our dedicated professors and staff to my fellow students and alumni, the California Western community has helped shape me as an attorney and a human being. To have a chance to be a part of that community and tradition of service as a member of the faculty truly is an honor and a privilege that I am humbled by.”
Before law school, Professor Vavasour studied history at the University of California, San Diego, and helped teach persuasive writing, rhetoric, history, literature, and philosophy in the Western humanistic tradition as part of the Revelle Humanities Program there.
“While teaching at UCSD, I considered pursuing a doctorate in history because of my love of it and my desire to make teaching my profession,” he said. “I decided to become an attorney instead because I was drawn to the intellectual challenges of our work and the many practical ways in which we can make a difference for our clients and our society. I knew the value and privilege of a legal education and the many ways in which it would shape me for the better whatever I decided to do with my degree.”
After graduating from California Western and passing the California Bar, Professor Vavasour entered private practice in San Diego as a civil litigator. In that work, he represented diverse clients in a broad variety of cases, ranging from employment disputes involving unlawful discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, to cases involving personal injury, legal and medical malpractice, breaches of contract, fraud, consumer protection, putative class actions, administrative proceedings, and other matters.
“One of the many reasons I chose California Western as my law school was its long tradition of intellectual rigor and its learned and experienced faculty and staff,” said Professor Vavasour. “As a student, I appreciated the many ways in which our teachers and staff used their knowledge and experience to mold me and my classmates so we would be ready for practice and the challenges it would bring. I am looking forward to using my own experiences as an attorney to help prepare our students in the same way. I also hope to pass on to my students some of the joys and rewards I found helping clients in my practice.”
Professor Vavasour will be joining the Legal Skills team of Professors Allison Cato, Amy Day, and David Austin, as part of California Western’s new unified program this Fall. They are delighted that he has accepted the role and collectively feel that he has already proven himself to be a terrific colleague.
“We are thrilled to have Liam join the California Western faculty this year,” said Professor Day. “Liam has been working hard with the entire Legal Skills teaching team this summer to meet the challenges of aligning our curriculum and adopting best practices in online teaching as we take our entire fall curriculum online. As both a practitioner with years of litigation experience and as a relatively recent alumnus of California Western, he is uniquely positioned to help us imagine a unified Legal Skills program that truly prepares our students for practice.”
Professor Vavasour is already enjoying getting to know his new students, both as their teacher and as an alumnus. He also relishes the opportunity to continue learning from California Western’s dedicated faculty and staff, albeit now as their colleague and partner in their service to the students, alumni, and community.
As he starts this new chapter of his career at California Western, Professor Vavasour succinctly sums up his feelings.
“One of the many wonderful things about California Western and our community is that, while it does indeed feel like I’m coming home, it also has felt in many ways like I never left.”