Mariana Corona Sabeniano, ’15, was one of the first students to pursue a Master of Science in Law, Government Law & Policy when the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law launched the program eight years ago.
As a legislative staffer in California’s Capitol, the Sacramento State University graduate from the tiny Colusa County town of Arbuckle was the perfect candidate for a program designed for young people who want to accelerate their careers in government.\
“I had always been interested in law school, but worked fulltime at the Capitol and enjoyed my job,” Sabeniano said. “I saw the Master’s program as a way to enhance my career. I took on-campus evening courses spread out over two years. I loved attending classes right alongside the JD students. I even took an extra course.”
Sabeniano earned her degree in 2015 and rose to Assemblymember Monique Limón’s Chief of Staff position. She also co-founded the Latinx Young Democrats of Sacramento, a group that supports Latinx candidates and community organizations such as La Familia. Last year, she was named to the Sacramento Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 list that honors the region’s most dynamic young professionals.
In November 2020, Sabeniano got a promotion of sorts when Limón won election to the 40-member State Senate. Limon represents Senate District 19, which encompasses Santa Barbara County and a large portion of Ventura County.
“Everyone was excited to see our boss win her bid for the Senate seat. The news also brought the team together and gave us something to virtually celebrate since we don’t see each other in-person much because of the pandemic safety protocols that dictate telecommuting for most Capitol staff,” Sabeniano said.
As the highest-ranking staffer to Limón, Sabeniano is glad she took basic courses such as Criminal Law and Administrative Law while at McGeorge.
“I am more knowledgeable about issues that I work on and issues that my boss votes on thanks to my legal studies,” she said.
The degree that Sabeniano earned is just one of several MSL degree options that McGeorge offers. Aspiring leaders in government, healthcare, human resources, and environmental policy can choose from among the law school’s many electives to design a course of study in-person or fully online that would have the greatest impact on advancement in their particular profession.