Experienced corporate attorney, Tom Jevens ‘87, spends his time giving back to the UCSB and the Gaucho community that provided him the foundation and inspiration for personal growth and professional success.
After graduating from UC Santa Barbara and attending Santa Clara University School of Law, Tom Jevens thrived in his legal career. As a corporate lawyer, Jevins worked hard to become Senior Corporate Counsel at Google while also investing in future legal minds as a lecturer at Santa Clara Law School. Now retired and working as a contractor for Google,, he focuses most of his energy on traveling, family, and keeping the Gaucho spirit alive in Santa Barbara.
An enthusiastic advocate for Gaucho Network, UC Santa Barbara’s very own private, online professional networking community, Jevens is committed to encouraging young students to get involved and start connecting with Gaucho alumni. He is not only an active alum working closely with the Board of Directors of the Alumni Association, he is also the founder of the Gauchos in Law group found on Gaucho Network. Checking in with students, answering their questions about law school preparation, and helping them find powerful connections is some of the many ways he shares his professional knowledge and Gaucho pride.
Jevens is an alum whose passion for UC Santa Barbara extends far beyond his college years. His guidance and oversight continues to impact students and their futures. His involvement with Gaucho Network has been instrumental in getting the program off the ground and flourishing in the student community.
Learn more about Tom Jevens, Gaucho Network, and his advice to current UC Santa Barbara students yearning to get a headstart on their future careers.
How do you recommend students reach out when looking for a mentor? What are you looking for in students?
When students are looking for mentors, the most important thing is to take the first step and to reach out to somebody. The beautiful thing about the Gaucho Network is there are so many Gauchos to reach out to. Just the other day, I looked through all the different types of legal work folks on the Gauchos in Law Group are involved in; public service work, corporate work, law firm, litigators, big firms, small firms, etc.
What is something you wish you knew as a student that is mentorship related?
The mentorship options are better now than in the 1980s to say the least. I wish I knew then what I know now. Taking the time to talk to somebody about what it takes to be successful in law school is vital. It is important to learn about what law school looks like, things they did successfully, and things that they did in law school and in their early careers that were not as successful. I had the pleasure of teaching law at Santa Clara University for 17 years until I retired in 2018 and dealt with a lot of students. Students come into law school with a lot of different experiences, from first generation students, multi generation students, early in their life, to late in their life. Some students are lucky to not need much direction and some students need a little extra guidance. It all depends on that ability to ask for advice in order to be successful.
Why do you feel passionate about mentoring UCSB students?
Over the years, I’ve met many Gauchos with a real passion about giving back to the UCSB community. We don’t have some of the big ticket things that you get involved with as alumni like football programs, but we do have a great sense of Gaucho community. It is very easy to stay connected with the community as it just takes dedication to your Gaucho roots and a little bit of time. But it can really make a difference to students lost in the transition from student to graduate.
The value of UCSB is obviously in the education received at the university and quality of the students. Building on that sense of community and this student quality is encouraged by all. From the beginning, Gauchos understand and appreciate the community that is there for them.
Why do you prefer Gaucho Network instead of other networking sites, such as LinkedIn?
Gaucho Network is easy to use and ties into LinkedIn as an additional tool. People talk about LinkedIn over and over, but what do you do with LinkedIn? Well, Linkedin is the way you keep track of people you work with and maintain that productivity. You can see what others are doing, let people know what you are doing, and professionally communicate through a social network. But students need to see that it is a tool that builds their careers over time. It is not an automatic network one you create an account.
Personally, I use it to track my former colleagues and people I want to keep in touch with for business matters. At the end of my career, I had more than 1500 colleagues that I've worked with over time that I was able to keep in touch with. When I was looking for a job, I would often check LinkedIn and contact people I already had growing relationships with. It isn’t an instantaneous thing, but LinkedIn and the Gaucho Network working together speeds up this process with a very crucial element: community.
Gaucho Network is the fast way to build that community right from the get-go, especially for students or young alumni. You are provided a network when you join Gaucho Network rather than taking the immense time to build it yourself.
Did you have mentorships in college or in your early professional years?
I didn’t have much in college but everyone’s experience with mentorship is so different. I didn’t necessarily have one in college, but I was very fortunate to have my first boss out of law school, who was a natural mentor. Sometimes people must be aggressive and seek mentors, and sometimes people are fortunate and stumble upon them. I was one of the fortunate ones but you must be open to it, and especially open to suggestions.
As the founder of Gauchos in Law and an advocate for students pursuing law school, Jevens is an asset to all young Gauchos who aspire to enter the legal field. Get the scoop on how Jevens found his way through law school and what you can do to further prepare.
Since you graduated law school and are a proacting attorney, what advice would you give to students who are soon going to be applying to law school?
I think pre-law students have to understand that everyone in law school had those good grades and other factors that made them successful as an undergraduate. Everybody was an overachiever and dealing with competitiveness is something you need to prepare yourself for. I think my biggest mistake coming into law school was expecting my academic schedule to be similar to my undergraduate time. It is not at all the way you study as an undergraduate but rather faster, with more material, and can be challenging if your study tactics are unsuccessful at first.
You must be willing to seek out help and be adaptable in the way you study to prepare and budget your time wisely. Some students can say they will simply power through it, but for most students, adjustments need to be made, especially when preparing for the Bar. For example, the California Bar is approached in a particular way and there are companies that will teach you how to do that but you have to be open to let them teach you first. My advice is to be adaptable and flexible.
Why do you believe mentorships are crucial for pre-law students specifically? Why should students join Gaucho Network for law school?
To be successful in law school, you need advanced knowledge to prepare yourself mentally and physically for the rigors of law school. A mentorship that can provide you with these tools or speaking to a variety of attorneys with specific perspectives will help you be successful. I could think of a few situations where if I had a better mentorship going in, I would have done some things differently that would have probably made me more successful. You eventually figure it out, but if you can get that leg up of knowledge, the opportunities could become endless.
There are so many aspects of law school that you may get advice about things that may or may not apply to you, but you will find a way to use the tools you do get. Just as some examples, I wish I had a better understanding of how to read cases and understood the general amount of time I would have to set aside for readings.
Connect with Tom Jevens through Gaucho Network! Register or log in here: https://gauchonetwork.com/feed