Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Saturday, March 19, 2005

In the Academic Support Spotlight

Mainero673_1Mario W. Mainero
Director, Academic Success Program
Whittier Law School

J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, University of New Mexico, 1980
M.A., Political Science (American Government and Research Methodology and Statistics), University of New Mexico, 1977
B.A, Political Science, Claremont McKenna College, 1975

Mario Mainero joined Whittier Law School as its first Director of the Academic Success Program in August 2001, after practicing for 21 years in Orange County, California, in the areas of commercial and probate litigation. He also served for 5 years as a Judge pro tem in Orange County Municipal Court, hearing small claims and traffic cases.

Since joining the faculty at Whittier Law School, he has developed an Academic Support Program that includes a two-week Summer Program for at-risk incoming admittees, a program for all first-year law students that includes both large-group lectures and small group weekly sessions to teach note-taking, outlining, study and exam-writing skills, one-on-one weekly meetings with students in academic difficulty, and a full-year Early Bar Preparation Program that addresses all subjects and examination styles on the California Bar Exam, and includes a three-day Simulated Bar Exam administered during Spring Break.

Mario was a panel member at the LSAC Academic Assistance Workshop on bar passage in Ft. Worth in 2003, presented a talk on statistical trends in bar passage, LSAT scores, and law school GPA’s at the AALS Annual Meeting this past January in San Francisco, and will be a member of a panel on Program Models at this year’s upcoming LSAC Academic Assistance Workshop in Las Vegas. Mario also contributed several “tips” to Dennis Tonsing’s seminal work, 1000 Days to the Bar - But the Practice of Law Begins Now.

Mario and his wife, Denise, live in Corona del Mar, California, with their two children, Christina, 16, and Anthony, 13, and their two dogs, “Belle” and “Electra.” Mario and Denise have been long-time active supporters of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis. While St. Jude’s founder Danny Thomas was still alive, Mario, Denise, and Denise’s family sponsored an annual fundraiser for St. Jude’s in Los Angeles, and now continue to sponsor an annual fundraiser in Orange County. In addition, Mario and Denise are politically active, and had the opportunity to attend the inauguration of President Bush this past January, where Mario was able to chat with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld at the Congressional Leadership Inaugural Ball.

Mario enjoys advanced mathematics and singing, and sang in his local Catholic Church’s Contemporary Choir for 15 years. In 1981, Mario sang the National Anthem on “Gene Autry Day” at Anaheim Stadium, home of Major League Baseball’s Angels.

“I have been truly blessed," Professor Mainero explains, "to have the opportunity to give back to the profession of law this way. I have found that by treating students with respect, as adults and individuals, by focusing on what their individual strengths and weaknesses are, and by expecting their personal best from them, and by not assuming anything about them or labeling them merely based on being a part of a group, I have had success in getting them to reach inside and achieve their personal best. All the lectures in the world about skills cannot take the place of expressing a personal faith and belief in the student, and letting them know exactly what you expect and how they can take personal responsibility for meeting those expectations.”

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