Professor of the Year awards

Students in McGeorge’s Class of 2022 voted, and the results are in for McGeorge’s annual Professor of the Year awards. Cary Bricker won Full-Time Professor of the Year, Jocelyn Blinn won Part-Time Professor of the Year, Marcie Paolinelli won MPP and MPA Professor of the Year, and Lindsay Harrington won MSL Professor of the Year.

“During my 17 years of teaching, I have been moved each year by the extraordinary drive, energy, and intelligence of our McGeorge students,” Bricker said. “Receiving this honor from the wonderful graduating class of 2022 makes me hopeful for the future knowing these soon-to-be lawyers will be out there making a difference. I am proud of each and every one of you.”

Bricker, the Noël M. Ferris Professor of Trial Skills, joined the McGeorge faculty in 2005. She taught trial advocacy alongside her husband Jay Leach, who retired from teaching in fall 2021. Bricker and Leach expanded McGeorge’s Trial Advocacy Program and launched it into its powerhouse position as one of the highest-ranked programs in the nation. Bricker was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Teaching Advocacy from the Educating Advocacy Teachers (EATS) Conference this spring.

She retired at the end of the spring semester. During her tenure at the school, Bricker taught Criminal Law, Trial Advocacy, Experiential Learning, Principles of Legal Analysis, The Legal Profession, and Criminal Pretrial Litigation.

Harrington, ’03, said that her students are a tremendous source of inspiration for her every day, and she is proud to be part of the McGeorge community.

“I am deeply honored by my students for this recognition of my work in the MSL program at McGeorge,” Harrington said. “From the start, I clearly communicate to all students that I want them to succeed in the pursuit of their MSL degree and beyond. I encourage them to summon their inner greatness, build upon their professional skills, and nurture and cultivate their positive mindset for success.”

Harrington recently joined McGeorge School of Law’s faculty as the Director of Bar Support and as an Assistant Professor of Law, Legal Practice. She leads the team of Bar Support full-time and adjunct faculty who deliver the PASS I, PASS II, and BEAT (post-graduation) courses. Harrington initially joined the McGeorge faculty as an adjunct professor in 2020.

Harrington has practiced in the Sacramento area since her graduation from McGeorge School of Law. She has tried both criminal and civil cases to jury verdict and is proficient in appellate work. In 2019, she obtained her Cannabis Law Certificate from McGeorge School of Law. When she was a student at McGeorge, Harrington served on the Board of Editors for the McGeorge Law Review, now known as The University of the Pacific Law Review, as Chief Managing Editor.

Blinn, ’11, grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and first came to McGeorge as a JD student after teaching for the previous five years in China. She began working for the school’s Graduate & International Programs in 2009 as a student and discovered that it was an excellent fit for her combined background in law and international education. Blinn teaches a course on Global Lawyering Skills.

“I was actually shocked to win this award. I’ve been very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with students from all of McGeorge’s programs – LLM, JSD, MSL, MPX, and JD – and interaction with students is by far the best part of my job,” Blinn said. “I love teaching, but I suspect the award is less for teaching than for the daily interaction with students I have with students as a staff member. The students make McGeorge a wonderful place to work, and I am very grateful for all I’ve learned from them.”

Paolinelli joined McGeorge at the launch of the Masters in Public Administration and Public Policy Program in 2016. She teaches courses on Leadership; Organizational Behavior; Strategic Management; Public Manager Analytics; and Values, Roles, and Skills. Student evaluations rave about her well-organized, interactive teaching, and she has made invaluable contributions to program development and professional mentoring of students.    

I’m honored to receive the Professor of the Year Award and want to express my appreciation and thanks to the MPP and MPA students,” Paolinelli said. “They inspire me to be the best I can be at what I love to do — teaching!

Paolinelli is well-known throughout the Sacramento region for her contributions to the practice of Public Administration and in 2018 was awarded the Ross Clayton Lifetime Achievement Award by the Sacramento chapter of the American Society for Public Administration. She has leveraged her extensive professional network to support multiple job placements for Public Administration students.

Scholarship and service awards

Four faculty were recognized this year for their scholarship, teaching, and service. Ron Hochbaum won the John G. Sprankling Faculty Scholarship Award; Mary-Beth Moylan won the Christine Manolakas Extraordinary Contribution Award, Ederlina Co won the Hether C. Macfarlane Teaching Innovation Award, and John G. Sprankling won the Frank Gevurtz Student Book Award.

Hochbaum was honored for his law review article, “Bathrooms as a Homeless Rights Issue,” which was published in the North Carolina Law Review. Hochbaum’s article is the first to examine the right to access bathrooms as it relates to the community of people experiencing homelessness and the paradox where cities, counties, and states provide few public bathrooms for this community while criminalizing public urination and defecation. Hochbaum joined the faculty in 2021. He directs the Law School’s Homeless Advocacy Clinic

The law school’s Associate Dean for Academic Affairs since 2019, Moylan was honored for her excellence in managing the curriculum, her tireless support of students, her willingness to go the extra mile, and her extraordinary competence in all the work she does. Moylan has taught at McGeorge School of Law since 2000.

Co, who teaches Global Lawyering Skills, Reproductive Rights and Justice, and the law school’s Prisoner Civil Rights Mediation Clinic, was honored for her innovative and effective efforts to integrate racial and gender justice issues in her teaching. She received perfect scores across the board from her students in their evaluation of her efforts. Co has taught at McGeorge since 2016.

Sprankling was honored for his book, Understanding Trade Secret Law,” which he co-authored with Thomas G. Sprankling in 2020. The book explains trade secret law clearly and succinctly to students, attorneys, and judges, while being mindful of the ever-evolving policies and tensions that underlie the field. Sprankling joined the McGeorge faculty in 1995.


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