News and Events
Student Leader Veronica Glaze Pursues Activism and the Law
Veronica Glaze knew she wanted to attend law school by the time she entered the third grade. Like her peers, she studied fractions and penmanship, but unlike many other elementary school students, Glaze also dabbled in acting and modeling—a sphere that eventually drew her to law.
Inside the entertainment industry, Glaze witnessed child actors and their parents get cheated by faulty contracts and lost in legal jargon. “Child actors often don’t know much about the business, and unfortunately, they get taken advantage of because of that,” says Glaze. “I thought law school would equip me to be able to help actors not worry about the legal matters and just focus on their talent.”
Glaze settled on her desired niche within the entertainment industry, and set her eye on an ambitious goal. First she would work as a lawyer for a studio and someday, become a studio executive.
As she advanced through her school years, Glaze developed another reason to pursue entertainment law: the opportunity to affect how people of color are portrayed onscreen. She points to the Spike Lee film Bamboozled, which impacted her deeply in this regard. The film satirizes the television industry and tells the truth about frequent negative racial stereotypes and the resulting marginalization of African Americans in film and television. Conversations with her friends and family on the same issue further inspired her to seek change.
After finishing high school, Glaze left Dallas, Texas, for Los Angeles and completed her undergraduate degree at Pomona College in Claremont. She settled on Pepperdine for law school, a choice she calls “perfect” because of the support of the professors, namely Carol Chase and Peter Wendel, whose mentorship has been particularly meaningful to Glaze.
Upon entering her first year of law school, Glaze immediately became involved in Pepperdine’s chapter of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), whose mission is to articulate and promote the needs and goals of black law students at Pepperdine and also at large. With a passion for community service and activism, she took over the reins as president of the organization in this, her third year, and has worked to develop relationships on the national level.
The lessons of history and the personal legacy of her family drive her to support black law students and their ambitions. “Our generation is living the dreams of the civil rights workers, our ancestors, and so many others who made such great sacrifices, hoping that we could be here studying law,” she says. Her family’s legacy includes her father, William H. Glaze, Sr. M.D., who testified in a Senate subcommittee hearing on the atrocities suffered by people of color at the hands of police in Houston, Texas, during the ‘Long Hot Summer’ of 1967. Her maternal grandmother, Jolyn Robichaux, was a key component of the social change organization the PUSH Coalition, in its formative years. “I come from a long line of people who have worked to liberate and empower marginalized people, and I want to pay back that support,” says Glaze.
Inspired by this legacy, Glaze supports the activism of national BLSA. In September, she and BLSA vice president Denise Sanders traveled to New Orleans, Louisiana, for a national conference, where they discussed the “Jena 6” case. Other cases NBLSA has followed and lobbied for or against include the Genarlow Wilson case, the Seattle and Louisville cases, and the American Bar Association’s 301-6 Bar Passage Standard Proposal, which affects incoming African American law students.
In addition to her work with the national association, Glaze travels to colleges and universities in the Los Angeles area to serve as a resource for black undergraduate students who are considering law school. She speaks at conferences and workshops, answering questions and helping students fill out law school applications.
In between semesters, Glaze has worked for the Legal Aid Foundation in South Los Angeles for the summer and aided law professor Carol Chase as a research assistant. Chase calls Glaze “a serious student, intellectually curious, always diligently prepared, and a natural leader.”
The next step in her future unfolded this fall when Glaze landed a coveted job at Warner Brothers Studios. At the studio she researches for potential trademark infringement and copyright infringement. She often screens “dailies,” or daily footage, to see how much of a previously copyrighted work appears in the recording. She then calls the artist to negotiate with him or her over how many seconds a work appears on screen.
Upon graduation, Glaze will take the bar exam in California and Texas and hopes to secure a job practicing entertainment law at a studio, a small boutique law firm, or a small production company. No doubt her talent, passion, and preparedness will pull for her.
“One of the things that impressed me from the first time I had Glaze in class is her power of expression,” says Chase. “She is exceptionally good at conveying her thoughts or arguments in a way that is compelling and easy to follow. She is intelligent and talented, as well as energetic and imaginative. She is a very capable young woman with a bright future awaiting her.”
by Emily DiFrisco