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A Common Bond
Alumni Affinity Groups Building Community and Support
UC Davis Counselor Magazine, 05/01/2007

Law students love to debate the rule of law. Even after long hours of studying and reading and studying even more, they head out beyond the walls of academia to meet and socialize—and talk about the law some more.

In the 60s, students met at professors’ homes or they drove into Berkeley or San Francisco. In the 70s and 80s, it was The Paragon, Mr. B’s, or Plainfield Station. Today, the G Street Pub or Sophia’s Thai Kitchen are the popular choices.

So it’s no surprise that alumni, despite powerhouse positions in U.S. federal and state courts, the CA state assembly, and partners in high-profile law firms, find time from their busy professional lives to meet with other UC Davis Law School alumni to share a common bond.

Insolvent Aggies

Robert Kidd ’77, the force behind the creation of the Insolvent Aggies, the alumni bankruptcy group, says, “There’s an emphasis on food and drink and yak and being proud of who we are.”

The Insolvent Aggies was formed in 2001. Bankruptcy law is a challenging and ever-changing field, and lawyers tend to practice bankruptcy exclusively. Kidd, the head of Stein, Rudser, Cohen & Magid LLP’s bankruptcy and insolvency group, says that he was always running into other bankruptcy attorneys and judges who turned out to be UC Davis alums. “UC Davis graduates a disproportionate share of the leading bankruptcy lawyers in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Nevada,” he says. “And we all share something in common— bankruptcy and studying at King Hall.”

Each year, the group meets for dinner at different locations in California. Past years, they’ve met in Los Angeles and San Francisco. This year, they move to Sacramento. “We’re an amiable group. We like being together.”

Although the Insolvent Aggies’ purpose is to celebrate being bankruptcy lawyers and UC Davis alumni, the group’s informal connection provides an opportunity to network, share experiences and perspectives, and talk about recent developments in the bankruptcy field. With close to 50 alumni, the group includes new graduates, seasoned professionals, and a federal bankruptcy court judge.

Members of the group were also instrumental in the start-up funding to establish the John D. Ayer Bankruptcy Chair. The lead donors were Scott H. McNutt ’82, the founder and principal of McNutt & Litteneker, LLP., with over 20 years of experience in all aspects of insolvency practice, and Marc Beilinson, partner of Pachulski Stang Ziehl Young Jones & Weintraub. Ayer was Beilinson and McNutt’s bankruptcy professor at UC Davis and the first person to encourage them to look at devoting their practice to this specialty. “He has given me invaluable guidance throughout my career,” McNutt says.

Kidd describes Ayer as a leading national thinker on bankruptcy and the patron saint of UC Davis bankruptcy lawyers.

Ayer’s name can be found on the Insolvent Aggies’ roster.

[Ed note: this is an excerpt from a longer article. For full article, please click on the link above or view attached PDF.]