Buchalter and OCBA Board Member M.C. Sungaila Establish Kaufman Appellate Fellowship Program

Buchalter is pleased to announce the establishment of the Kaufman Appellate Fellowship Program, named in honor of California Supreme Court Justice Marcus Kaufman, who founded the appellate practice at Buchalter upon his retirement from the bench thirty years ago. The Fellowship provides recent law school graduates with appellate advocacy experience early in their careers and is intended to serve as a launching pad into a judicial clerkship or an appellate career.

The Kaufman Appellate Fellow Program is the brainchild of OCBA Board Member and Buchalter’s new Appellate Practice Group Chair, M.C. Sungaila. “I am thrilled that the Firm will play a significant role in growing the next generation of appellate lawyers at Buchalter, by providing mentoring and one-on-one training. Appellate practice can be hard to break into, particularly right out of law school. This Fellowship aims to bridge that gap,” Sungaila said.

The U.S. Solicitor General’s Office and state solicitor generals such as California and Colorado have similar fellowship programs, as do a handful of appellate boutiques across the country. This is the first appellate fellowship at an AmLaw firm.

According to Buchalter chairman Adam Bass, “The Kaufman Appellate Fellowship Program honors the firm’s history and reflects our continued commitment to the appellate practice group, which is a key part of the firm’s robust litigation practice.”

The first Kaufman Fellow is Lauren Jacobs, a Pepperdine Law School graduate and former extern for Presiding Justice Tricia Bigelow of California’s Second District Court of Appeal, Division Eight.

Jacobs joins another new appellate hire, Joshua Ostrer, a UCLA Law School graduate and former judicial law clerk to the Honorable Patrick DeAlmeida on the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division (New Jersey’s intermediate appellate court) and the Honorable Karen E. Scott, U.S. Magistrate Judge in the U.S. District Court of the Central District of California. Ostrer joined the firm earlier this fall.