Faculty Fuel

Deep roster of lecturers brings career success and expertise to the classroom
Rick Trachok, a renowned figure in international gaming law, makes a point in his Secured Transactions – Article 9 class

GAME ON: Rick Trachok, a renowned figure in international gaming law, makes a point in his Secured Transactions – Article 9 class. Photo by Shelby Knowles

Olga V. Mack’s Blockchain for Lawyers course started as an intimate one-credit seminar.

But months before it was even scheduled to start this semester, Berkeley Law students were lobbying her to increase enrollment — to a whopping 85 slots. The course is now less hands-on, but Mack appreciates that her pupils share her excitement about the technology.

“I love this tech because it’s powerful and will transform our work and lives in our lifetime,” she says. “So, I’ve been on a mission to educate students and the public.”

Vice president and CEO of Parley Pro at LexisNexis, Mack is just one of Berkeley Law’s incredibly deep bench of lecturers. Their primary jobs are as lawyers, advocates, policymakers — even a judge — and they bring a vast spectrum of expertise into the classrooms.

Many niche offerings, from Mindfulness for the Legal Mind to Wine Law, are taught by these part-time faculty members. Some teach only one course; others, like Robert Infelise — a pillar of the school’s environmental law curriculum — teach a variety.

Often beloved additions to a student’s law school experience, many have become icons over long careers teaching at Berkeley Law: Those who serve the school for more than 20 years, and complete 20-plus semesters of teaching, earn the title Dean’s Emeritus Lecturer. Infelise is one, as is disability rights legend Arlene B. Mayerson ’77 and Henry Hecht, who was an assistant special prosecutor on the Watergate Special Prosecution Force.

“Our lecturers exemplify the diversity, challenge, and impact of the legal profession,” says Professor Andrew Bradt, the school’s associate dean of J.D. curriculum and teaching. “Their dedication to our students, alongside their leadership in an array of fields, is inspiring and critical to our mission.”

McDonald Carano Senior Counsel Rick Trachok has forged a storied career in international regulatory and gaming law. As compliance chair for the German gaming group Gauselmann AG, he helped secure gaming licenses in 200 jurisdictions worldwide. He also chairs the Global Compliance and Governance Committee for the U.K.-based International Game Technology, the world’s largest gaming manufacturer and lottery company.

Trachok has taught throughout his career, and when the opportunity arose in 2017 to come to Berkeley, he jumped at it. This year he’s teaching Gaming Law: Gambling, Fantasy Sports, Online Wagers; Secured Transactions – Article 9; and Contracts & Sales for LL.M.s.

“Being able to draw on a diverse legal career in teaching highly intelligent and motivated students is very rewarding,” Trachok says. “Teaching at Berkeley Law is a career highlight for me. We have the best students and an incredibly talented and collegial faculty. What could be better?”

Mack agrees. Former students tell her the class was life- and career-changing, and that they’re applying the principles they learned from her daily.

“The hunger for learning and having an impact from day one of practicing law is unparalleled,” she says.
— Gwyneth K. Shaw