Entries by Jim


I can’t help but recognize the metaphor in the rising sun peeking over the seven hills of Kampala this Sunday morning.  I have no memory of ever taking the time on any of my prior visits to Uganda to sit still and appreciate the beauty and simplicity and constancy of the equatorial sunrise – 6:45 […]

Summer Trip to Uganda, Anyone?

It feels like I just returned from Uganda, but I am now deep in the planning stages of the next trip — #19.  It will start out with a week of mediation training led by Pepperdine’s world-renowned Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, and then transition into our annual five-day prison project, after which two training […]

18 And Life To Go

One of my favorite songs when I was in college was “18 and Life to Go” by Skid Row.  That pop-metal song crashed back into my life as I traveled to Uganda this weekend for the 18th time.  My commitment to my beloved second country ensures that while this is trip 18, I do have […]

Through New Eyes

During the four weeks Henry has been in the United States, I have learned to see daily life through new eyes.  It is so easy to take for granted many aspects of life in the developed world.  Henry was amazed by how good the roads were once he landed on January 26th – “they are […]

Touch Down

Pardon my Super Bowl metaphor, but I couldn’t resist.  Today feels like a touchdown, goal, grand slam, ace, slam dunk, and hole in one all wrapped up in a Chipotle burrito.  Henry lands in a couple hours for a five-week, six-state tour of the U.S. – the very day Divine Collision is officially released. As […]


Securing a visa allowing a non-citizen to visit the United States has historically been a challenge, particularly for those from the developing world.  This process has only become more difficult in the wake of the Paris and San Bernardino terrorist attacks. The two most important decision-making factors utilized by the State Department are (i) whether […]


After a productive summer project in four different Ugandan adult prisons, which was followed by an historic national plea bargaining conference in Kampala, the fall semester at Pepperdine Law began in earnest.  Because Divine Collision is officially being released in January, my teaching schedule was doubled up this fall so I could be more flexible […]


The fall semester started out in a full sprint and has only picked up speed over the course of the first four weeks.  The advance planning of our Parris Institute (named for its generous benefactors Rex and Carrol Parris) led to a smooth and inspirational launch week.  Bob Goff headlined the final day with a […]

It’s A Wrap

One of the many ways in which Uganda’s court management structures differs from ours is in its heavy use of Registrars – lawyers who aren’t yet judges (but who will be in the future) exercise a fair number of judicial functions.  For example, the Criminal Court does most of its work in sessions – groups […]

Earlier Than Immediately

One of my greatest regrets over the five years I’ve been coming to Uganda is that I haven’t visited the US Embassy in Kampala more often to keep them updated on what Pepperdine is doing in Uganda.  During my first trip, in January of 2010, our group met with Ambassador Jerry Lanier shortly after we […]