Older Wiser Law Students

Mission: Older Wiser Law Students (OWLS) fosters a supportive and thriving community for students who have taken time off prior to law school, are transitioning into second careers, have previously pursued an advanced degree, are married and/or parenting, and others who view their academic path as non-traditional.

We host informational and networking programs, both independently and with other organizations, to provide students with advice about navigating law school and their careers. When not in quarantine, we also host regular dinners, happy hours, and family-friendly events to foster community among OWLS (and hope to start doing so again as soon as we are able to gather in person).

All students are welcome.


  • 2020-2021 OWL Leaders

    Kelly Ilacqua: Kelly is a second-year student at UCLA School of Law. She is a parent of an audacious, brave, and charismatic five-year-old, and worked as a field organizer and high school english teacher prior to pursuing her J.D. In addition to studying contracts and constitutional law, Kelly enjoys running, swimming, hiking, and just about anything that involves being outside.

    Sunny Perkins: Sunny is a third-year at the UCLA School of Law. She is a proud double Bruin with a B.A. in Sociology. In addition to her involvement in OWLS, Sunny is also the Director of Finance for the Graduate Students Association. Prior to law school, Sunny worked in legal finance within big law. In her free time, Sunny enjoys practicing yoga, playing with her dog, getting boba, and indulging in reality TV.

    Teresa Anselmo-Thai: Teresa is a third-year student at UCLA Law. She graduated from UC Berkeley with degrees in Mexican History and Anthropology. Before law school, Teresa worked as a securities litigation case assistant, sat on the executive board of the Japan-America Student Conference, and dabbled in digital marketing, acting, and the gig economy. When not studying, she enjoys fermenting things, watercolor painting, belting show tunes, and spending time with her loved ones. After graduating, Teresa will be joining Fenwick & West as a corporate associate.

    Patrice Ruane: Patrice is a second-year law student at the UCLA School of Law. She holds a B.A. in English Literature and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, both from Arizona State University, and originally planned to teach writing at the university level. Before coming to UCLA Law, she worked in proposal writing and business development for a number of years. Following her 1L year, Patrice worked as a judicial extern for a judge on the California Court of Appeal. In her free time, Patrice plays piano and harpsichord, enjoys running and weightlifting, and spending time with her dog and two cats.

    Leeza Arbatman: Leeza is a second-year student at UCLA Law. After college, she worked as an editorial intern for a radio station, a researcher for public health think-tanks, and a client services coordinator for a criminal justice organization. Right before starting law school, she was pursuing her master's degree in city planning. Along with her involvement in OWLS, Leeza is also a writing advisor for the first-year legal research and writing program and a managing editor for UCLA's Journal of Environmental Law and Policy. When not buried in her casebooks, she enjoys exploring the outdoors, riding her bike, baking, and reading graphic novels.

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