Stephanie Buckley (JD ’99)

Associate Vice Chancellor at the Pepperdine University School of Law

“It is really fulfilling knowing that your work is making a difference in someone’s life.”

When she graduated in 1999 Stephanie Buckley was among the first graduates to receive a business law specialization.  “The Business Law Specialization was a fabulous opportunity for me.  I never thought about specializing in law school, but when I learned about the opportunity I signed up.  It is a really special aspect of UCLA Law School.”

Business law was not, however, the path Stephanie expected to take.  She had always known she wanted to be a lawyer, but thought she would be a public interest lawyer.   One semester in Professor Stark’s Federal Income Tax changed her mind.  “After I took Federal Income tax I knew I wanted to focus my energies on tax law.  It was a great class and Professor Stark really brought the material to life.”

Stephanie focused her attention, and spent the remainder of her law school career, taking as many tax classes as she could and completing the business law specialization with a tax concentration.

After graduation, Stephanie put her tax classes to use by working in charitable giving.  Her first job was working in-house at a software company specializing in charitable giving.  Working with organizations receiving gifts to optimize the tax consequences for their donors, Stephanie realized that she wanted to do more than work with the organizations receiving donations – she wanted to work directly with donors.

In 2006 Stephanie was able to bring her passion for development and charitable giving to Pepperdine University.  First running the Center for Estate and Gift Planning and more recently as the Associate Vice Chancellor at the Pepperdine School of Law.   Working at Pepperdine allows Stephanie to use her talents to promote and support an educational institution she believes in.  In her roles at Pepperdine she has raised funds for student scholarships, programs and institutes directly benefiting students and the university.  “It is really fulfilling knowing that your work is making a difference in someone’s life.”

Stephanie is also a teacher.  She has regularly spoken and taught seminars on estate planning, charitable and planned giving.  She currently teaches an Internet law course, as an adjunct faculty member, at Pepperdine Law School.  In addition, Stephanie has returned to UCLA to teach classes on planned giving at UCLA Extension.

Stephanie gives back to the community through her own charitable work and efforts.  From 2009 to 2012 Stephanie served on the board of the Heifer International Foundation that manages the charitable gifts funding Heifer International.   Heifer International provides communities and small farmers in developing nations with tools, training and livestock to transform impoverished communities.

UCLA Law School sparked in Stephanie Buckley a passion for tax law which she has ultimately been able to use to serve the community through facilitating charitable contributions and planned giving.