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As a student employee at UCLA’s law library, Wanda Flowers filed books in the stacks, riffling pages to scan for loose papers, rips and pencil marks. The young woman from Jacksonville, Fla., who as a child would race to her community bookmobile to return her well-thumbed but lovingly cared-for borrowed volumes, was horrified to find that students were slicing pages out of the law books.

Now 61, with three decades of experience as an attorney and legal counsel for nonprofits and corporations, Flowers is glad she looked past such ignominies to focus on her purpose of studying law to help others. Her self-assurance and values ingrained by parents who above all stressed honesty (“My mother would say a liar will cheat and steal and kill,”) have buoyed her in a profession that has given her immeasurable satisfaction.

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