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Four Alumnae Appointed as Oregon Judges

January 18, 2018

  • From left: Judge Ulanda Watkins, Judge Patricia McGuire, Judge Xiomara Torres, Judge Fay Stetz-Waters
    From left: Judge Ulanda Watkins, Judge Patricia McGuire, Judge Xiomara Torres, Judge Fay Stetz-Waters
    Nina Johnson

Four Lewis & Clark Law School alumnae – all women of color – were appointed as Oregon judges last year by Governor Kate Brown’85.  Judges Ulanda Watkins’96, Xiomara Torres’02, Patricia McGuire’95 and Fay Stetz-Waters’05. The Oregon State Bar Diversity Section hosted an event to recognize their achievement and the contribution their diverse backgrounds will be to the Oregon judiciary. 

January 2018 marked another alumna appointment, Honorary Graduate Adrienne Nelson, ’11, who was appointed to the Oregon Supreme Court by Brown.

“We are immensely proud of our alums and congratulate them. Their unique life experiences will enrich our judiciary,” noted Dean Jennifer Johnson.

“Oregonians will be rightly proud to welcome this group of exceedingly talented and diverse lawyers into judicial service,” Brown said after announcing Watkins’ and seven other judges’ appointments in July.

Ulanda Watkins, ’96

Watkins was appointed to the Clackamas County District Court. She is the third African American female judge on the Oregon state bench, and the only judge of color on the bench in Clackamas County.

A former defense attorney and a managing attorney at GEICO, Watkins graduated from Lewis & Clark Law School in ’96. She was sworn in by Justice Adrienne Nelson, in August.

Xiomara Torres, ’02

Torres was appointed by Brown in March as a family law judge on the Multnomah County Circuit Court. Once an illegal immigrant and foster child, her unusual path to the bench was featured in an Oregonian piece in October.

After graduating from Lewis & Clark Law School in 2002, Torres has spent her career representing children and their families. She has worked both in private practice and for the Oregon Department of Justice.

Patricia McGuire, ’95

Another addition to the Multnomah County Circuit Court is Patricia McGuire, who was appointed to the court’s Family Department in September. She is a private practice attorney with a long history of family law and complex civil litigation work.

McGuire , a ’95 graduate, has served on the board of Saint Andrews Legal Clinic, worked for the Legal Aid Services of Oregon and been a coach for Grant High School’s “We the People” constitution team.

Fay Stetz-Waters, ’05

Brown appointed Stetz-Waters to the Linn County Circuit Court in October. Stetz-Waters, an ’05 graduate, is a civil rights investigator at Oregon State University and has worked at the Oregon Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision. She has previously worked as an administrative law judge in the state’s Office of Administrative Hearings.

Stetz-Waters served in the Marines and graduated from Lewis & Clark Law School in 2005. She is a board member of the Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence.

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