Marlenee Blas Pedral ’23

portrait of dark haired female wearing a suit jacketHometown: Temecula, CA
Education: UC Santa Barbara B.A.; University of Vermont M.Ed.
Affiliations: UC Student Regent Designate, California Law Review Vol. 111

I was born in Mexico and moved to southern California when I was in second grade. The lack of Latinas in higher education and in the broader legal profession influenced my desire to become a lawyer. I chose to attend UC Berkeley because I’ve been in public schools all my life and believe that, as a leading public law school, Berkeley Law and its students and graduates can create change and shape the future of our profession. 

Prior to starting law school, I was involved in Census 2020 outreach. So participating in the Political and Election Empowerment Project (PEEP) (a pro bono student-initiated legal service project) during 1L year was a natural progression of that work. There, I researched voting laws and redistricting efforts. I also served as the law school’s delegate to the Graduate Student Assembly, UC Berkeley’s official legislative body for graduate and professional students. I enjoyed representing my classmates as part of a group that was assessing UC Berkeley’s virtual instruction policy, raising awareness around academic resources, and taking on initiatives like doubling support for Native American students by establishing partnerships to name a few.

I decided to run for the position of Student Regent to the UC Board of Regents because as a UC graduate and former UC staff member, I wanted to bring that unique perspective to the role during such a critical time. Before law school I worked at UC Riverside. There I started two initiatives, the opening of a UCR Career Closet, an initiative that provides students with professional attire, and the founding of the Butterfly Project, a program that provides undocumented students with career counseling, scholarships, and internship opportunities. So I have experience with student advocacy and really enjoy that work. 

The Student Regent is an important position because I’ll be a voting member of the governing body of the University of California. As the only student on the board, I will represent all undergraduate and graduate students across the university’s 10-campus system. 

The role is a two-year commitment. During the 2021-22 academic year I will serve as the Student Regent-designate, and I will have rights to attend all meetings. Then next year, as the Student Regent, I will attend all meetings and become a voting member. Essentially my job is to represent the student voice and perspective on issues pertaining to the holistic student experience before the board. 

As we recover from the impacts of COVID-19, we will continue to face new challenges and I look forward to helping the university innovate and move forward in the best interest of the students during this unprecedented time. In addition to the important priority of addressing impacts of COVID-19 among students and working towards a safe transition back to in-person instruction, another goal for me as Student Regent is to accelerate the university’s efforts to address basic needs and launch collaborative initiatives that address affordable housing for students across the UC system. 

I think that the professional training, genuine commitment to serve, and unique leadership experience that law students have make us exceptional candidates for the job of Student Regent. I’m really excited to help make the student experience remarkable as we continue to overcome challenges and work towards building a supportive ecosystem for all students in fall of 2021.