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Higher Education

'There’s no substitute for experience,' Gov. Brown tells Pepperdine law students

 (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

In a lighthearted speech at Pepperdine University’s annual law school dinner, Gov. Jerry Brown took a break from politics and urged students not to lose sight of the universal truths of education and the law.

“My father used to be a Republican, and then he became a Democrat. And Ronald Reagan used to be a Democrat, and he became a Republican. So relax,” Brown said, easing the more conservative crowd into a reflection on the importance of learning the rules of the law and thinking creatively.

“There's no substitute for experience,” he said, reflecting on his work over the years in education, political reform and crime. “Law school is an exciting place. You learn about the rules, and you learn ... that every rule has a counter rule.”

Brown received a standing ovation from the school’s law students, faculty, alumni and donors, who had gathered Friday evening at the Beverly Hilton to raise funds and celebrate the Christian university’s mission to prepare students with “the highest principles of professional, ethical and moral responsibility.”

“There’s a uniqueness about our school of law, and I’m proud of it,” Pepperdine President Andrew Benton said. “It’s about giving students the moral grounding that will … allow them to withstand the challenges of life.”

Other speakers Friday included U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte Jr. and real estate developer and alumni Rick Caruso, who chaired the dinner and whose son Alex attends the law school.

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