MoForever Alumni News Fall 2021

MoForever Fall 2021 | 18 PRO BONO UPDATE about going to law school?’ I hadn’t, of course, but she was the first one to plant that seed.” Dena did end up going to law school, earning a Juris Doctor degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. While there, she continued to sit in on court proceedings whenever she could, still fascinated. Dena went on to extern for Judge Kimberly J. Mueller, Chief U.S. District Judge of the Sacramento Division of U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California and the first female district judge in the Eastern District. Although a career on the bench was still not Dena’s intention, Judge Mueller proved to be a great mentor for her. “Watching her gave me a perspective of what a judge is there to do, the importance of the role, and making sure that people get their constitutional rights,” Dena said. “Keeping that relationship with her throughout practicing always piqued my interest in law and helped pave the way for me to eventually become a judge.” Dena was summoned for jury duty again in 2020 after serving as an administrative law judge for six years (“just to get a feel for what judging was and how to be a good one”). While Dena was serving on the jury, another judge encouraged her to apply for a Superior Court SERVING THE SACRAMENTO COMMUNITY COMES FULL CIRCLE JUDGE DENA COGGINS, SACRAMENTO COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT