Jose Hermocillo’s, ‘83, career in government relations, public affairs, and strategic communications spans decades. He has been at the center of dozens of high-profile ballot measure campaigns and legislative and regulatory debates on issues ranging from healthcare and workers’ compensation to natural resources and taxation. 

Jose Hermocillo
Jose Hermocillo, ’83, Partner at Integrated Communications Strategies.

After graduating with distinction from Pomona College’s government department in 1976, Hermocillo was one of six individuals selected statewide to participate in the State Senate’s Fellowship Program. After finishing the fellowship program, he was hired to work for the State Senate’s labor committee as an associate consultant. Two years later he left to work as a lobbyist in the State Capitol. During this time, he attended McGeorge School of Law and graduated in 1983, winning top honors in Moot Court Competition and serving on the Moot Court Honors Board. A year later he received a certificate in trial and appellate advocacy from UC Hastings College of the Law and joined a civil litigation law firm.   

Because of his passion for politics and policy, he pursued a career in public affairs. After a four-stint as an independent consultant, he became a partner in one of California’s top political consulting and public affairs firms. In 1996, he helped open an office in the Sacramento market for APCO Worldwide, a global public affairs and strategic communications agency. He managed that office for two decades, during which time he was promoted to executive director and served on its senior management team for North America. During his tenure, APCO became one of the top PR agencies in the Sacramento market.     

In 2016, Hermocillo co-founded Hermocillo-Azevedo Strategic Communications to specialize in policy, crisis, and litigation communications. The firm added a third partner in 2020 and changed the firm’s name to Integrated Communications Strategies. The firm continues to help corporate, public, and nonprofit entities influence public policy outcomes and protect their reputations during times of crisis and transition. The firm also provides strategic planning services to solve complex economic development challenges.  

In 2007, PR News, the industry’s leading national publication, recognized Hermocillo as “Public Affairs Executive of the Year.” He also has twice been named one of the most influential people in the region by Sacramento Magazine. 

Hermocillo currently serves on the Dean’s Cabinet for McGeorge School of Law and the boards of directors for the Sierra Health Foundation and the Center for Sierra Health Foundation, which promote health, racial equity and racial justice in communities throughout the state. He also has served on numerous boards, including Valley Vision, Umpqua Bank/Holdings Corporation, and Capital Public Radio. Hermocillo is a senior fellow of the Mt. Valley Chapter of the American Leadership Forum. In his spare time, Hermocillo plays trumpet with bands in the Sacramento area. 


Throughout 2024, the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law will celebrate members of its vast alumni network in honor of the school’s 100-year anniversary. This post is the first in a series highlighting 100 exceptional McGeorge School of Law alumni. 

Stay tuned for more blog posts as we celebrate the law school’s centennial anniversary. 

Anna Frostic, ‘07
Anna Frostic, ‘06, is the Senior Vice President of Programs and Policy for the Humane Society International.

When Anna Frostic, ‘06, came to McGeorge School of Law, she traded researching in laboratory settings for practicing law. With a background in physical and biological anthropology, Frostic has always been passionate about protecting animals, especially through wildlife conservation. Now, she helps countless animals through her career in animal protection litigation. 

For 13 years, Frostic has worked at the Humane Society, which is a nonprofit that promotes ending animal cruelty in the United States and internationally. Initially, Frostic worked as an attorney, eventually the senior attorney, in Wildlife and Research at the Humane Society of the United States. 

In this position, Frostic was involved in litigation at the state and federal levels. She petitioned administrative agencies for regulatory and policy changes. She also worked to draft and review new legislation and helped to defend this legislation when it was challenged in lawsuits. 

Currently, Frostic is the Senior Vice President of Programs and Policy for the Humane Society International, overseeing all of Asian global programs and policy work. She engages directly with staff internationally to promote animal protection through legislative policy campaigns, corporate outreach, and direct care of animals. 

Frostic has many professional accomplishments, but one of the successes she is most proud of early in her career is eliminating a loophole in the federal law that allowed chimpanzees to continue to be subjected to invasive biomedical research. In fact, because of her work, the United States has not engaged in basic biomedical research on chimpanzees since 2015. 

Frostic has also been involved in working to end trophy hunting. In the United States, Frostic filed multiple lawsuits to prohibit the United States Fish and Wildlife Service from issuing permits to allow trophy imports of African lions. Frostic has worked in this issue at the international level as well, pressuring the South African government to prohibit the entire industry of captive breeding of lions. Through her and the Human Society’s efforts, the South African government recently issued a policy document paving the way for phasing out that industry. 


Throughout 2024, the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law will celebrate members of its vast alumni network in honor of the school’s 100-year anniversary. This post is part of a series highlighting 100 exceptional McGeorge School of Law alumni.  

Stay tuned for more blog posts as we celebrate the law school’s centennial anniversary. 

Thomas Hiltachk
Thomas Hiltachk, ’87, is the Managing Partner at Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk, LLP.

A native Sacramentan, Thomas Hiltachk (’87) graduated from McGeorge School of Law in 1987 where he was a Law Review editor and author and a member in the Order of the Coif. Later, Hiltachk served on the Board of McGeorge’s Capital Center for Law and Policy.

He is the managing partner at Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk, LLP., where Hiltachk has practiced political and election law since 1988. He has served as legal counsel and treasurer to numerous statewide and local ballot measure committees, political action committees, lobbyists, trade associations, candidates, and officeholders.  

Hiltachk served as legal counsel for the campaign behind Proposition 184, also known as the Three Strikes Law, in 1994. He was also a legal counsel for the successful campaign to recall Gov. Gray Davis in 2003. In the 2000s, he was lead counsel for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. 

Hiltachk has appeared before the California Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal on several occasions and has twice been named a “Top 100” lawyer in California by the Daily Journal (2017 and 2019). He served as an official U.S. election observer for the 1996 Russian Presidential election, as President of the California Political Attorneys Association (2004 – 2005) and as a Board member of the American Association of Political Consultants.   


Throughout 2024, the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law will celebrate members of its vast alumni network in honor of the school’s 100-year anniversary. This post is the first in a series highlighting 100 exceptional McGeorge School of Law alumni. 

Stay tuned for more blog posts as we celebrate the law school’s centennial anniversary. 

A woman poses for a photo in judge's robes.
The Hon. Michelle Tong, ’01, was elected to the San Francisco Superior Court in March 2020.

The Hon. Michelle Tong, ‘01, was born in Toronto, Canada to immigrant parents from Hong Kong. She was raised in Sacramento and resides in San Francisco. She received her bachelor’s degree in Politics with a minor in East Asian Studies from UC Santa Cruz in 1996 and studied abroad in Tianjin, China during her time in undergrad.  

After working with the Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco serving low-income Asian immigrants for several years, Judge Tong returned to Sacramento to be with her family while attending McGeorge School of Law, graduating in 2001. Judge Tong was active in McGeorge’s Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, Black Law Students Association, and Minority Students Bar Association.  

Following law school, Judge Tong’s dedication to social justice continued. She returned to San Francisco and assisted self-represented tenants at the Eviction Defense Collaborative, helping low-income tenants respond to eviction lawsuits. Subsequently, she spent 17 years at the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, where she tried over 50 jury trials to verdict, ranging from misdemeanors to serious and violent life cases.  

Judge Tong was elected to the San Francisco Superior Court in March 2020 and began her judicial service in January 2021. Her judicial assignments have included family and civil law.  

Judge Tong is committed to ensuring the legal profession expands in its diversity of gender, race, socioeconomic background, and cultural competence. She remains active in the community by mentoring aspiring law students and attorneys and enjoys speaking in classrooms with students ranging from elementary school to law school. 


Throughout 2024, the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law will celebrate members of its vast alumni network in honor of the school’s 100-year anniversary. This post is part of a series highlighting 100 exceptional McGeorge School of Law alumni.  

Stay tuned for more blog posts as we celebrate the law school’s centennial anniversary.

Lance Olson, ’77

Lance H. Olson, ‘77 is a founder and senior counsel of Olson Remcho. He previously founded the law firm of Olson Hagel & Fishburn LLP which merged with Remcho Johansen & Purcell in January 2020 to form Olson Remcho. Olson specializes in the practice of election, government, and political law. 

Olson serves as counsel to many of California’s foremost labor unions, several large trade associations, a number of major environmental organizations, and many of California’s leading tech entrepreneurs.  In addition, he has advised scores of elected and public officials, including Speakers of the Assembly and Presidents Pro Tem of the Senate. He has provided legal advice to the California Democratic Party since 1982. 

Olson specializes in the process of drafting and qualifying initiatives and referendum appearing on state and local ballots. In that role, he has played a major part in the drafting and passage of many of California’s major laws. Olson drafted Proposition 34, the comprehensive campaign finance reform ballot measure adopted by the voters in November 2000. In 2010 he drafted Proposition 25 which reduced the Legislative vote requirement to pass a California budget from 2/3rds to a majority. In 2012 Olson drafted Proposition 28, modifying Legislative term limits to allow Legislators to serve longer in the Assembly or Senate. In 2016 Olson drafted Proposition 56, an initiative passed by voters to increase the tax on tobacco products. Also in 2016, he co-wrote successful measures to extend California’s income tax on wealthy taxpayers (Proposition 55) and legalize cannabis under California law (Proposition 64). Olson has also advised campaigns opposed to ballot measures including successful efforts to defeat initiatives restricting labor unions ability to participate in the political process (Proposition 226—1998; Proposition 75—2005 and Proposition 32—2012). 

Olson previously served as an adjunct professor of law at McGeorge School of Law for eight years where he taught election law. He is also a consultant to the CEB publication, Advising California Nonprofit Corporations. He is the co-founder and past president of the California Political Attorney’s Association. He previously served on the California Bipartisan Commission on the Political Reform Act and as a Lawyer Representative for the Eastern District of California to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference. 


Throughout 2024, the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law will celebrate members of its vast alumni network in honor of the school’s 100-year anniversary. This post is the first in a series highlighting 100 exceptional McGeorge School of Law alumni. 

Stay tuned for more blog posts as we celebrate the law school’s centennial anniversary. 

Michelle Wong, '03
Michelle Wong, ’03, Partner in Porter Wright’s Tax, Estate Planning & Personal Wealth and Sports Law

Michelle Wong, ‘03, is a partner in Porter Wright’s Tax, Estate Planning & Personal Wealth and Sports Law practice groups. 
 
Wong focuses her practice on estate planning, wealth preservation, and estate administration. She routinely advises ultra-high net worth clients and family businesses on practical strategies to protect and provide for future generations, succession planning for closely held and multigenerational businesses, and charitable planning. In her estate administration practice, Wong provides counsel to clients on the implementation of tax-advantaged estate and trust strategies and the execution of their fiduciary obligations.  
 
A significant portion of Wong’s practice is tailored to addressing the complex needs and issues unique to athletes and coaches as they progress through various stages of their careers and beyond. She works with athletes and coaches at the collegiate and professional levels, including the National Football League, Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, and the National Hockey League. Whether an athlete is just entering the league or planning a career beyond sports, athletes and coaches rely on Wong’s counsel on a diverse range of legal matters including estate planning, asset protection, privacy protection, fiduciary services, endorsement contract review and analysis, non-disclosure agreements, real estate contracts, employment contracts, dispute resolution, trademark and licensing issues, and establishment of business and charitable entities.  
 
Wong received her Master of Laws degree from the University of San Diego School of Law, her Juris Doctorate from the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law, and her undergraduate degree from California State University. She is a member of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Central Ohio, the Sports Lawyers Association, the California Bar Association, the Columbus Bar Association, and the Ohio State Bar Association. Additionally, she was the chair of the Governance Committee for the Women Lawyers of Franklin County.  
 
In the community, Wong teaches Wills, Trusts, and Estates as an adjunct professor at The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law. She was also an inaugural member of the Young Professional Leaders Roundtable and was on the Board of Directors for the Greater Columbus Sports Commission and Susan G. Komen for the Cure Columbus. She serves on the McGeorge Alumni Association Board of Directors. She was named to the Best Lawyers in America, the Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America, and was the Women WELDing the Way Honoree from the Women for Economic and Leadership Development. 


Throughout 2024, the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law will celebrate members of its vast alumni network in honor of the school’s 100-year anniversary. This post is part of a series highlighting 100 exceptional McGeorge School of Law alumni.  

Stay tuned for more blog posts as we celebrate the law school’s centennial anniversary. 

A man in a suit poses for a photo.
Michael Belote, ’87, is a lobbyist with over 40 years of experience.

Michael Belote, ’87, has over 43 years of experience as a lobbyist in California. After serving as President of California Advocates, Inc. for 10 years, he is currently Immediate Past President of the firm. Before joining California Advocates in 1990, Mike worked in lobbying as an employee of several trade and professional associations.  

Mike’s activities in the legislative process have spanned a broad array of issues, including financial services, real estate, health care, the judiciary, and transportation. Capitol Weekly has named him one of the Top 100 in California politics for many years, and he twice was named the recipient of the annual President’s Award by the California Judges Association. Mike also was named as Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year by an association of philanthropic fundraisers in the Sacramento Capital Region. 

After receiving an undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley, Mike earned his JD from the McGeorge School of Law in 1987, where he was admitted to the Order of the Coif. He has many times publicly acknowledged his education and training at McGeorge as an essential element in his lobbying career.  

Belote has actively supported students in McGeorge’s Public Legal Services Society by volunteering to emcee the program’s yearly fundraising auction, as well as offering financial donations himself. Belote often encourages others to match his gifts and support the program. Belote’s assistance is felt, not only by the student grant recipients, but also by the clients that they serve. Thanks to the support he provides and helps generate, McGeorge School of Law students are able to provide legal assistance to vulnerable people in underserved communities, through an impressive variety of public sector and nonprofit organizations. 

Belote has also funded two generous endowments. The Michael Belote Endowed Capital Center Lecture, part of McGeorge’s Capital Center for Law and Policy Lecture Series, has brought discussions on cutting-edge legal issues to the campus, such as “Journalism in the Era of Fake News” and “Brews and Bureaucracy – Emerging Craft Beer Law.” The Michael Belote Public Interest Endowed Scholarship ensures that students wishing to better themselves and their community can afford a legal education without financial barriers. 

Belote’s generosity extends to his time as well. He is both a member of the law school’s Dean’s Cabinet and Capital Center’s Board of Advisors. Belote has hired McGeorge students to ensure that they are gainfully employed and mentored students with an interest in lobbying and practicing in the capital.


Throughout 2024, the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law will celebrate members of its vast alumni network in honor of the school’s 100-year anniversary. This post is part of a series highlighting 100 exceptional McGeorge School of Law alumni.  

Stay tuned for more blog posts as we celebrate the law school’s centennial anniversary. 

Jason Miller, ’15, works for the Office of Legislative Counsel for the State of California. Miller chose to pursue his law degree at McGeorge School of Law because of the faculty and their passion to teach as well as the school’s collaborative learning environment.

Before law school, Miller was a teacher and school administrator. Miller decided to go to law school because he wanted to grow his influence and have a greater positive influence on more people.

In this video, Miller discusses the passion that Dean Michael Hunter Schwartz has brought to the law school including the programs he has instituted and positive changes going on that influenced Miller to get involved with the McGeorge Alumni Association Board of Directors.


Learn more about McGeorge School of Law.

Apply to McGeorge School of Law.

Learn more about the Alumni Board.

Margaret Kuroda Masunaga, ‘87
The Hon. Margaret Kuroda Masunaga, ‘87, retired Hawaii State District Court Judge.

The Hon. Margaret Kuroda Masunaga, ’87, served as a Hawaii State District Court Judge from 2014 to 2020 on the Big Island of Hawaii in Kona. 

Judge Masunaga grew up in Sacramento, California, and graduated from C. K. McClatchy High School in the Land Park Area near McGeorge School of Law. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley, and McGeorge School of Law. She served on the McGeorge Alumni Association Board since 2023. When she was a student at McGeorge, she was President of the Asian American Law Students Association, as well as Minority Representative on the admissions committee. After graduating from McGeorge in 1987, she passed the bar exam and was an Associate at the law firm of Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel. 

Judge Masunaga had a lengthy career of public service in Hawaii in various capacities before serving on the bench for six years. She was a Deputy Corporation Counsel and Deputy Planning Director for the County of Hawaii, and Deputy Attorney General for the State of Hawaii. 

Judge Masunaga has been active in the American Bar Association (ABA) since she was on the Young Lawyers Division (YLD) Executive Council. She has served as Co-Chair of the Judges’ Journal Editorial Board and Secretary of the Executive Committee of the National Conference of State Trial Judges, ABA Judicial Division, Chair of the Judges Advisory Committee of the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics & Professional Responsibility, ABA State Delegate for Hawaii, member of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, ABA Commission on Racial & Ethnic Diversity in the Profession, ABA Standing Committee on the American Judicial System, and Judicial Council member of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). She is the former Hawaii State Trial Judges Association Vice President, Treasurer of the Hawaii State Bar Association, President of the West Hawaii Bar Association, NAPABA Board of Governor and Hawaii Community Foundation Board of Governor. 

Judge Masunaga is the recipient of U.S. President George W. Bush’s Gold Volunteer Service Award, ABA Nelson Award for outstanding contribution, Hawaii Women’s Legal Foundation Award, Soropitmist International of Kona Award, Hawaii Lawyers Care Award, and Hawaii State Bar Association YLD Justice Award. She has been an ABA contributor in two “Dear Sisters, Dear Daughters” publications. 

Judge Masunaga and her husband Gail both retired in December 2020, and own Masunaga Farms, Kona coffee.  


Throughout 2024, the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law will celebrate members of its vast alumni network in honor of the school’s 100-year anniversary. This post is part of a series highlighting 100 exceptional McGeorge School of Law alumni. 

Stay tuned for more blog posts as we celebrate the law school’s centennial anniversary. 

A man in judges robes poses for a photo.
The Hon. Daniel Flores, ’01, has been on the bench for over 10 years.

The Hon. Daniel A. Flores, ‘01, was born in San Francisco to immigrant parents from El Salvador. He joined the United States Marine Corps Reserve after high school. He then attended California State University, Sacramento, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. While initially looking for a career in law enforcement and investigations, Judge Flores became interested in pursuing a law degree during his senior year.  

Judge Flores began his studies at the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law in 1998. He participated in the Minority Students’ Program as a first-year law student to get extra academic support from his peers. In his second year, Judge Flores paid it forward by serving as a Minority Students’ Program tutor in Real Property Law. Judge Flores was also involved in the Latino Law Students Association at McGeorge by serving as a board member and later as president. As a student, he realized how the law touched his music, real estate, and entrepreneurship interests. He completed a concentration in Intellectual Property Law and received his Juris Doctor, with distinction, in 2001. 

Judge Flores began his career as a civil litigator at Ropers, Majeski, Kohn & Bentley and later opened a private practice where he incorporated criminal defense. As a young attorney, he was named a Rising Star and later a Super Lawyer in the Northern California Super Lawyer’s Magazine. With heavy judicial support and the endorsement of the Democratic, Green, and Republican parties, Judge Flores was elected to the Superior Court in 2014. Judge Flores currently presides over civil trials. His previous assignments include criminal, juvenile justice, and family law. Judge Flores also served as the Presiding Judge of the San Francisco Superior Court’s Appellate Division.  

Judge Flores remains active in the community through mentoring and speaking engagements designed to promote the virtues of the legal profession. Judge Flores is a Bay Area Judicial Selection Advisory Committee member and is on the board of directors of the California Latino Judges Association. Judge Flores received the Bay Area Minority Bar Coalition Champion of Diversity Award in 2022 and the San Francisco La Raza Lawyers Association’s Judge of the Year Award in 2023. 


Throughout 2024, the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law will celebrate members of its vast alumni network in honor of the school’s 100-year anniversary. This post is part of a series highlighting 100 exceptional McGeorge School of Law alumni.  

Stay tuned for more blog posts as we celebrate the law school’s centennial anniversary.