Growing up near Sacramento, Kelly Gunderson ’15 always knew she wanted to study overseas.
So when she had the chance to do a year abroad program during her undergraduate studies, she jumped at the opportunity.
Gunderson spent most of that year in Granada, Spain, where she fell in love with the culture, leading her to return to the country following her undergraduate education. For a year, she taught English in the small village of Cártama about 12 miles off the coast of the Alborán Sea.
“I’ll never forget getting my location assignment and trying to find an apartment in this tiny little town. It was hard but one of the best experiences I’ve ever had,” said Gunderson.
While teaching there, Gunderson became increasingly interested in the culture specific to southern Spain. “It is very relaxed and calm. I realized you can learn a lot by just going a little bit slower,” said Gunderson. After returning from Spain, she began law school at UC Hastings with hopes to apply that cultural experience to her studies and research. In her research she began to explore how Spanish culture, specifically, the slower more relaxed pace of life, may have an affect on how business models are implemented in that society, specifically the venture capital model.
“Part of the venture capital industry is driven by a certain desire to go, go, go. Most startups operate on a 24/7 time clock, trying to complete an app or a new site, so it is interesting thinking about if that can be done in Spain,” said Gunderson.
This kind of thinking motivated her to research the subject and study with UC Hastings Faculty like Associate Professor Abraham Cable, an expert in Business and Corporate Law. From this research she wrote the article “A Comparative Analysis of Spain’s Startup Co-Investment Fund and the United States Government Funded Venture Capital” for the Hastings International and Comparative Law Journal that recently won her the Albert G. Evans Scholarship in Private Enterprise. Her article compares Spain’s start-up funding culture with the United States’ venture capital business model.
“Winning the scholarship is an amazing accomplishment for me. I really appreciate the faculty recognizing my note and the importance of the subject,” said Gunderson.
After graduating in May, Gunderson is currently an associate at Goodwin Proctor, working with start-up companies and venture capital financing in Silicon Valley.
When Rob Taboada ‘15 transitioned from contractor to lawyer it was far from happenstance.
Growing up in rural northern New Jersey, Taboada was surrounded by open land and greenery. But when he returned home from college, he found that the land he knew had become an overdeveloped area lacking the character it once possessed.
“It was upsetting because I felt like there could have been a little more sensitivity in the development in preserving more of the open space,” said Taboada.
This disappointment charged Taboada’s desire to play a role in creating more environmental sensitivity in mass development of land. “I was pro development, but I was pro sensible development,” said Taboada. He decided on a career that would allow him to have a first-hand impact on this belief. After spending some times as a furniture maker he began working as a contractor.
“As a general contractor I started studying green building and urban planning as a way of having a better understanding of what I was doing. That was when I decided I wanted to have even broader of an impact,” said Taboada.
Taboada’s scholarly article in the Hastings Law Journal, “How Buildings Will Save the World: Using Building Energy Regulation and Energy Use Disclosure Requirements to Target Greenhouse Car Emissions” recently won him the Albert G. Evans Scholarship in Private Enterprise.
“I was thrilled to receive this scholarship. I think receiving the recognition really underscores the importance of understanding climate change legislation for those advising the business community,” said Taboada.
After taking the bar this summer, Taboada will join the Land Use and Environment Group at Holland & Knight, where he will be doing entitlement and environmental compliance work on behalf of developers and agencies working on large-scale projects.
The grateful clients of esteemed lawyer Albert G. Evans established the Albert G. Evans Scholarship in Private Enterprise in 2000 after his death. The scholarship is a $3,200 cash prize ($1,600 each) awarded by UC Hastings College of the Law to two second or third year law students who write the best article on a topic in governmental regulation and private enterprise. A faculty selection committee selects awardees.
"Rob and Kelly join a proud line of terrific UC Hastings student scholars chosen by our faculty for superb research and writing. Both articles caught the eye of the faculty selection committee as excellent scholarship," said Elizabeth L. Hillman, Provost and Academic Dean at UC Hastings.