Outstanding Graduate Jose Meneses ’22

Since middle school, Jose Meneses ’22 dreamed of becoming a lawyer. Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, Meneses and his family immigrated to the U.S. in 2009. He was a Gates Millennium Scholar at UC Davis, earning a full-ride scholarship, where he graduated with a bachelor of arts in political science before starting law school at UC Law SF.

Meneses said he was drawn to UC Law SF because of its location in the heart of San Francisco and the Legal Education Opportunity Program (LEOP), a program that admits overlooked students from underserved backgrounds and supports them to succeed. He said, “I was especially attracted to LEOP because the program offered academic support, a professional network, and a community from diverse backgrounds. LEOP’s programming gave me the confidence that UC Law SF would support me in my academic goals.”

He said he also chose UC Law SF because he wanted to be in a thriving urban center close to the booming technology sector, “I chose San Francisco because I wanted exposure to the disruptive technology industry.”

After graduation, Meneses will work at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as an international tax consultant in the company’s Los Angeles office. “My short-term goal is to pass the California Bar Exam and be an officer of the court,” he said. “My long-term goal is to start an investment partnership following a values-oriented approach.”

While at law school, Meneses participated in numerous activities and organizations. He was involved in Moot Court, where he competed in the Thomas Tang National Moot Court Competition, placing as a regional semifinalist along with his teammate Stephanie Yim ‘22. Serving as President of Hastings’ First Generation Professionals, Meneses completed an externship at Credit Karma. During the summers, he interned with California Rural Legal Assistance, Hastings’ Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic, and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

“My summer at PricewaterhouseCoopers was exhilarating and challenging. I was in their International Tax Services Group researching optimal tax restructuring strategies for multinational corporations. Fun fact: (the company) had Jason Derulo and Keith Urban perform for my internship class,” he said.

Initially, he aspired to enter politics and run for public office but said his time at UC Law SF led him to pursue a different path, “When I successfully ran and completed my tenure as a student senator at UC Davis, the nation’s largest student run government, I was convinced that a future in politics was my calling. But then my experiences in law school and the classes that I’ve taken swayed me to pursue a career in tax and finance.”

Meneses had this advice for incoming students: Read more non-law-related books. “It’s important to supplement one’s education with outside knowledge. Law school has instilled in me a love of reading and learning. Specifically, I learned to read critically and to write with purpose.”