10 Notable Alumni from Western State College of Law

By | July 5, 2023

With over 11,000 alumni, Western State College takes great pride in its accomplished and diverse community. The alumni network comprises exceptional professionals who have made significant contributions in various fields, including law, education, politics, government, and business. Their outstanding achievements exemplify the success and impact of Western State College graduates.

In this article, we highlight 10 remarkable alumni who have made notable achievements in their respective fields.

Be sure to check out our previous posts on Western State’s ranking and acceptance rate, as well as their LSAT and GPA requirements.

1. Mike Garrett

Michael Lockett Garrett, born on April 12, 1944, is a former American football player renowned for his achievements in the sport. As a halfback for the USC Trojans, he was awarded the prestigious Heisman Trophy in 1965. Garrett went on to have a successful professional football career, playing for the Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers over eight seasons.

Following his playing days, Garrett transitioned into administrative roles within the realm of athletics. From 1993 to 2010, he served as the athletic director at the University of Southern California (USC). In 2015, Garrett took on the position of athletic director at California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA), and retired as the Executive Director of the Athletics Department in 2016.

2. George Gascón

George Gascón, born on March 12, 1954, in Havana, Cuba, is a notable American attorney and former police officer currently serving as the district attorney of Los Angeles County. He previously held the position of district attorney of San Francisco from 2011 to 2019. Before his career as a prosecutor, Gascón served as an assistant chief of police for the LAPD and later as Chief of Police in Mesa, Arizona, and San Francisco. Gascón’s contributions and accomplishments have earned him well-deserved recognition in his career. He has received prestigious accolades, including the Visionary Award presented by the Southern California Leadership Network, the Top 100 Lawyers in California by the Daily Journal, and the esteemed Civil Rights Award bestowed by the Anti-Defamation League.

3. Ruth Parasol

Ruth Monicka Parasol, born on February 27, 1967, is an American businesswoman and lawyer who founded PartyGaming in 1997. The company grew to generate more than $500 million in annual profits by 2005, and floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2005 for US$8.46 billion. It became the largest online poker room and marked the first time a female-founded and led company was admitted to the FTSE 100 list of companies. In 2010, Parasol was recognized by The Economist as the 15th wealthiest self-made woman in the world. Parasol sold her remaining shares by the end of 2015. According to the Sunday Times Rich List of 2020, she has an estimated net worth of £780 million.

4. Chris Jacobs

Chris Jacobs, born on January 30, 1970, is a renowned television host and personality. He currently serves as the host of TLC’s “Long Lost Family” and is also recognized for his roles as the host of “Overhaulin‘” and the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auctions, both aired on Velocity. Prior to this, he showcased his talent as an on-air personality for the NFL Network, where he guest-hosted episodes of “NFL AM” and provided “Up to the Minute” updates. Jacobs has also held positions as the host of “The Insider” and as a correspondent for Entertainment Tonight.

5. Roger Benitez

Roger Thomas Benitez, born on December 30, 1950, currently holds senior status as a federal judge in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. Appointed by President George W. Bush in 2004, he assumed senior status on December 31, 2017. Prior to his appointment, Benitez practiced law as an attorney in California from 1978 to 1997. Additionally, he served as a part-time instructor at Imperial Valley College from 1998 to 1999. From 1997 to 2001, Benitez also served as a superior court judge for the California Superior Court.

6. Nguyễn Cao Kỳ Duyên

Nguyễn Cao Kỳ Duyên, born on June 30, 1965, is a Vietnamese-American singer, songwriter, and master of ceremonies. She is the daughter of Nguyễn Cao Kỳ, a former Prime Minister, Vice President, and Air-Force General of South Vietnam. Kỳ Duyên is also recognized for her acting roles in films such as The Sympathizer, The Rich Woman (2016), and Lost Paradise (1993). Currently, she serves as a master of ceremonies for Thúy Nga Productions’s Paris by Night series, alongside Nguyễn Ngọc Ngạn.

7. Bob Pacheco

Robert “Bob” Pacheco, born on June 10, 1934 in Mesilla Park, New Mexico, is an American attorney and politician. He represented California’s 60th State Assembly district from 1998 to 2004. In April 2005, Pacheco was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health Board of Occupational Safety & Health Standards, where he served until 2010. Additionally, Pacheco was appointed by President George W. Bush to the United States Naval Academy Board of Visitors, serving from 2006 to 2007. Since 2013, he has been a member of the Walnut City Council in Walnut, California.

8. Bob Chandler

Robert Donald Chandler, born on April 24, 1949, was an American professional football player known for his twelve seasons as a wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL). In addition to his football career, Chandler ventured into broadcasting, serving as a color analyst for NFL games on NBC in 1983. He also hosted “2 on the Town” for KCBS-TV in Los Angeles from 1984 to 1987 and worked as a sports reporter for KABC-TV in the late 1980s. Chandler joined Joel Meyers and Mike Haynes on Raider broadcasts for the 1993-94 seasons. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with lung cancer in September 1994 and passed away at the age of 45 in January 1995.

9. Bonnie Dumanis

Bonnie Michelle Dumanis, born on December 16, 1951, served as the District Attorney of San Diego County, California from 2003 to 2017. As the first woman and first Jewish District Attorney in San Diego, she made significant contributions during her tenure. In January 2017, Dumanis announced that she would not seek re-election for a fifth term, which would expire in 2018. Later, in April 2017, she revealed her decision to resign from her office, with her resignation becoming effective on July 7.

10. George O. Wood

George O. Wood, born on September 1, 1941, was an esteemed American Pentecostal minister who dedicated his life to serving the community. He held prominent leadership positions within the U.S. Assemblies of God for 24 years, serving as both general secretary and general superintendent. From 2007 to 2017, he served as the General Superintendent of the General Council of the Assemblies of God in the United States of America (AG) and was also the Chairman of the World Assemblies of God Fellowship, the largest Pentecostal denomination globally, starting from 2008. Prior to his role as General Superintendent, Wood served as the General Secretary of the AG from 1993 to 2007. Sadly, he passed away at the age of 80 on January 12, 2022, after battling cancer.