American Bar Association President Inspires Graduates of California Western Fall Class

ABA president encourages graduates to take pride in commitment to the legal profession

SAN DIEGO, December 19, 2011 – American Bar Association President William T. Robinson addressed the 75 California Western School of Law graduates receiving their Juris Doctor and Master of Laws degrees today, at a ceremony held at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront.

Robinson inspired them to carry the mission of serving others and the responsibility of serving the profession into their careers.

“As a lawyer, no matter what you choose to do, your commitment to others will be unique,” he said.

Robinson captured the emotion felt by many graduates as he reflected on his own journey from law student to practicing attorney.

“I can still remember my graduation and the optimism I felt that day,” he said, continuing, “the optimism you are feeling today is well-earned and well-placed.”

Welcoming Address speaker and California Western graduating student Vanessa C. Gerard shared that optimism as she looked to the future.

“No matter what type of law we choose to go into, we are advocates with the training and the skills to hit the ground running,” she told her classmates.

Gerard served as an award-winning National Moot Court and Trial Team member, Vice President of the Student Bar Association, and recipient of numerous Academic Achievement awards during her time at California Western.

Honorary Degree Recipients

As part of the commencement ceremony, honorary degrees were awarded to ABA President William Robinson and the following members of the California Western Board of Trustees:

  • J. Randall Jones ‘81, Founding Partner of Kemp, Jones & Courthard in Las Vegas

Foreign Lawyer Program Honors 11 Graduates

California Western’s Master of Comparative Law program prepares lawyers from foreign nations to work with U.S. attorneys on a range of legal subjects and common interests.

Eleven attorneys from nations including Canada, Egypt, Germany, Iran, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia received their LL.M/M.C.L. degrees today.


California Western School of Law is the independent, ABA/AALS-accredited San Diego law school that advances multi-dimensional lawyering by educating lawyers-to-be as creative problem solvers and principled advocates who frame the practice of law as a helping, collaborative profession.  

For the second year in a row, California Western is the only law school named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction.

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