Pre-Law Advisory Council

Find out more about the men and women who make up Bakersfield College's Pre-Law Advisory Council and check out agendas and minutes from council meetings.

Advisory Council Members

Adeyinka Glover

Adeyinka Glover, Esq. is the Volunteer Attorney Program Coordinator at Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance, Inc. As the Coordinator, she recruits private attorneys to handle pro bono cases for the legal aid organization. Adeyinka also represents low-income clients in guardianship and domestic violence actions.

She is an active member of the Kern County Bar Association (KCBA) and is on the committee for the local bar magazine, the Res Ipsa Loquitur. Adeyinka is also a founding member and co-chair of the Multi-Cultural Bar Alliance, a section of the KCBA.

Steven Katz

Judge Katz began his judicial career in December 2008 after being appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in October, 2008.

While on the Kern County Superior Court he has handled a variety of both criminal and civil cases.

For over two years he served as the Supervising Judge of the misdemeanor section of the court. Currently assigned to a general trial court, Judge Katz spent the prior two years as the pre-preliminary hearing judge with the responsibility of assisting the prosecution and defense in negotiating early resolution of felony cases.

For twenty years Judge Katz served in the Kern County District Attorney's Office as a law clerk, a deputy district attorney, and as a supervising attorney. As an attorney Judge Katz spent the bulk of his career handling civil and criminal matters involving consumer and environmental violations, asset forfeiture, insurance fraud, and child abduction.

He also served as liaison to the Kern County Grand Jury. In 2007 Judge Katz was President of the Kern County Bar Association. Judge Katz has served as a director on the Kern County Bar Association Charitable Foundation since 2008.

From 1996 through 2001, Judge Katz taught law at California Pacific School of Law in Bakersfield.

Jeannie Kraybill

Dr. Jeanine Kraybill is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and Pre Law Advisor at California State University, Bakersfield., where she teaches research methods, pre law related courses and classes on government institutions, particularly the Court and Presidency. Her research focuses on the presidency, gender, and religion and politics, specifically examining how male and female religious elites influence public opinion and policy outcomes. She is working on a book manuscript for Temple University Press that examines religious elite political influence in a gendered and institutional context, via the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Leadership Conference of Women Religious. She also studies the Rhetorical Presidency and how language is employed by the executive and presidential candidates to influence the political process. She regularly provides political analysis to local media outlets in Kern County and Bakersfield and has been featured in pieces by the Los Angeles Times and consulted by the Associated Press and the BBC for analysis on the 2016 election cycle and candidates. Before joining the Department of Political Science at Cal State Bakersfield, Professor Kraybill was a lecturer at the University of California, Riverside and taught at several community colleges throughout Southern California. Along with being an educator since 2003, she's also studied at the Leon Panetta Public Policy Institute and worked on Capitol Hill as a Congressional Intern. Dr. Kraybill graduated with her PhD in Political Science from Claremont Graduate University in 2015.

Courtney Lewis

Ms. Lewis grew up in Bakersfield and graduated from Ridgeview High School. She received her Bachelor's degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara and graduated from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. While at Loyola, she was a member of the Byrne Trial Advocacy Team.

Ms. Lewis joined the Kern County District Attorney's Office in 2011. She currently works in the Family Violence Unit.

Cynthia Loo

Cynthia is a 1990 graduate of the University of Southern California School of Law. While in law school, Cynthia was a legal intern at AYUDA, a non--‐profit agency assisting low--‐income individuals in juvenile, family law, immigration, domestic violence and unlawful detainer matters. She worked from 1991--‐1999 at the Children's Law Center of Los Angeles representing abused children.

Prior to her judicial duties with the Superior Court of California, she volunteered with the Legal Aid Foundation of LA's Unlawful Detainer Equal Access Project as well as the LA County Superior Court / LA County Bar Association's Domestic Violence Project, where she returned to volunteer from June 2013 to July 2014.

Cynthia previously was the 2013-2014 Chair of the State Bar's Council on Access and Fairness, as well as a co-chair of the Multicultural Bar Alliance of Southern California.

Cynthia was a jurist with the LA Superior Court from 2000-2013. Ms. Loo has been a Commissioner with the Kern Superior Court since January 2016.

James Maddox

James Maddox, originally from Minnesota, has been a social science teacher in the Kern High School District for 13 years. His assignments have primarily been AP US Government and AP Macroeconomics. He has worked at Highland high school and presently teaches at Frontier high school. He has advised and coached "We the People" academic competition teams, forensics programs, and is currently advising the Frontier mock trial team. For the past three summers, James has taught professional development courses for the office of professional and continuing education at The University of San Diego.

Maddox received his bachelor's degree in Social Science Education and his teaching credential from St. Cloud State in Minnesota, and received his master's degree in United States history from California State University, Bakersfield. Mr. Maddox was the first Social Science educator in the history of Bakersfield to be awarded a prestigious senior fellowship from The James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation to fund his master's degree.

Mr. Maddox lives in Bakersfield with his wife and children, enjoys travel, and scuba diving.

Rebecca Murillo

Rebecca Murillo is the Director of Admissions for University of La Verne's Kern County Campus. She graduated from Bakersfield High School.

Rebecca attended Ventura College as a working single mom and went on to earn her bachelor degree in Law and Society from University of California, Santa Barbara. While attending Ventura College, Rebecca was an active member on the Board of Trustees and earned the Diamond Award of Excellence.

After contemplating attending law school, she ultimately completed her Master's Degree in Leadership and Conflict Studies.

Rebecca has previously served as the President of the Alternative Dispute Resolution section of the Kern County Bar Association.

Rebecca enjoys her role at the University of La Verne, "helping students complete their degree both quickly and economically." Rebecca is married and enjoys spending quality family time with her four boys.

Bethany Peak

Bethany J. Peak, a native of Riverside County, relocated to Bakersfield to join the law firm LeBeau Thelen.

Ms. Peak is an associate in the firm's litigation practice group, and her practice focuses primarily on the representation of doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers.

Prior to joining LeBeau Thelen, Ms. Peak served as a law clerk on the Maryland intermediate appellate court, where she wrote nearly 100 opinions on a variety of practice areas including environmental, commercial, and complex tort litigation.

Ms. Peak received her Bachelor's degree from the University of California at Berkeley, and earned her Juris Doctor degree from the American University, Washington College of Law. While at American, she was selected as a Dean's Fellow and served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Sustainable Development Law and Policy publication.

Brett Price

Brett Price has practiced law in Bakersfield since 1976, and now practices in Ventura with the Norman Dowler firm, as well.

Prior to joining Norman Dowler, Mr. Price was with Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard, and prior to that in other firms.

His practice emphasizes property tax litigation, business, commercial, construction, oil and gas law and complex bankruptcy matters. Currently, a significant portion of his practice focuses on complex litigation involving the evaluation and taxation of high value energy resource and industrial/commercial properties.

He also serves as an arbitrator and has served as a pro tem judge for the Kern County Courts.

He has previously served as the President of the Kern County Bar Association and presently sits on the Kern County Bar Association Charitable Foundation Board of Directors.

H.A. Sala

H.A. Sala has been an attorney for over 30 years. He was accepted to U.C. Davis in 1974 where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science.

Thereafter, Mr. Sala was admitted to U.C. Berkeley-Boalt Hall School of Law. Upon earning his Juris Doctor in 1981, he was selected as an unfair labor practices prosecutor with the Agricultural Labor Relations Board, where he worked to protect the rights of farm workers to improve working conditions and organize labor unions.

During his tenure at the ALRB, he was successful in winning an unprecedented injunction in a complex labor law case.

In 1983, he was recruited as a Kern County Deputy Public Defender where he tried approximately 40 cases to verdict in his first two years before opening his private law office in 1986.

Since 1986, he has handled numerous high profile cases including the successful defense of murder charges against Offord Rollins, featured in the book "Mean Justice," which was written by a Pulitzer prize winning author about the Kern County criminal justice system.

Throughout his career he has tried over 100 criminal cases to verdict.

In 2010, he served as President of the Kern County Bar Association. He is a life member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the California Association for Criminal Justice.

In 2011 he was awarded the prestigious Atticus Finch Award for outstanding dedication to criminal defense, and in 2014 the Kern County Bar Association selected Mr. Sala as the recipient of the Bench and Bar Award for exemplary service to the legal profession.

He has been certified by the California State Bar as a specialist in criminal law since 1995 and has an AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbell.

Robert Tafoya

Robert Tafoya is one of eleven children.

He attended high school in Ventura, California. He received an Associate of Arts degree from Ventura Community College in 1971.

He then moved to Mexico and attended the University of the Americas in Puebla, Mexico, where he studied Latin American history and economics.

He returned to the United States in 1973 and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from California State University, Sacramento and a Masters Degree in Education from the University of Southern California.

He taught high school for two years as a participant in the Teachers Corp Program. He enrolled in Hastings College of the Law in 1975 and earned a juris doctorate in May 1978.

He relocated to Kern County from San Francisco in the fall of 1978 and began practicing law exclusively in Kern County until October 2002 when he was appointed to the Kern County bench by Governor Grey Davis.

At the time of his appointment he was a certified family law specialist and the president of the Kern County Bar Association. He has been a superior court judge for the past 13 years and presides over both criminal and civil matters.

Judge Tafoya is married to Sandra Serrano, Chancellor of the Kern Community College District. They have two children.

Galen is a graduate of Chapman University and works in media production in Los Angeles and New York.

Their daughter, Christina, is a graduate of Cal State University, Bakersfield where she earned a degree in kinesiology. She is currently in a nursing program at Bakersfield College.

David Torres

David A. Torres has been a member of the California Bar since 1988, and is the principal in the criminal defense firm David A. Torres and Associates, which handles both state and federal criminal matters.

He earned is BA in Public Administration from CSU Fresno and his Juris Doctorate from Gonzaga University School of Law.

Mr. Torres currently sits as a Trustee for the State Bar of California where he Chairs the Admissions & Education Committee.

He is the State Bar liaison to both the Judicial Nominations Evaluation Committee and the Committee of Bar Examiners.

Mr. Torres is past president of the Kern County Bar Association, past president of the Criminal Defense Section, and liaison to the State Bar Criminal Law Section.

Mr. Torres is a graduate of National Criminal Defense College and is a lifetime member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and member of the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice.

Alekxia Torres-Stallings

Alekxia L. Torres-Stallings is a criminal defense attorney with the Law Office of David A. Torres.

She graduated from Stockdale High School, and now coaches their Mock Trial team.

She attended the University of California at Irvine for her undergraduate degree and then Thomas M. Cooley in Ann Arbor, Michigan for law school. Alekxia has been a dedicated member of the Kern County Bar Association since she was a law student.

She currently holds positions on the boards of the Women Lawyers Section and Young Lawyers Section. She is recently married, loves running, and enjoys spending time with her dogs.