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Law School Celebrates 2018 Commencement

May 25, 2018

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On Saturday, May 19, 180 graduates received Juris Doctor degrees from Lewis and Clark Law School, while others earned Masters of Studies in Law degrees and LLMs in Animal Law and Environmental, Natural Resources & Energy Law.

The ceremony began with a welcome from Law School Dean Jennifer Johnson, followed by words of advice and encouragement from Lewis and Clark President Wim Wiewel.

The Honorable Anna Jaeger Brown, JD ’80, Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Oregon, gave 2018 graduates a heartfelt commencement address.

Educated from kindergarten through night law school at Lewis and Clark, Judge Brown is a lifelong Oregon resident and the first American-born citizen in her family of displaced, immigrant- farmers from East-Prussia. She told her story of hard work, strife, self-discovery and success as the third woman to serve as a U.S. District Judge in Oregon since 1859.

“I am most grateful for this Law School’s Evening Division which provided my only chance to become a lawyer and to start my ‘accidental journey’ to here,” said Judge Brown. “That journey has had its share of hard turns – the Malheur trial being only the most public – but it began with the challenge of becoming a trial lawyer in a male-dominated profession and starting out as the only woman lawyer in my firm, followed by serving as a trial judge.”

Judge Brown reflected on starting at her first job after graduating from Lewis and Clark Law School. “I was so thrilled when I got the call offering me the job contingent on my passing the Bar, I accepted without even asking how much the position paid, and then I was too embarrassed to inquire so I waited for my first paycheck to find out!” she said.

She closed her speech with three pieces of advice for the recent graduates: “set the table” to be prepared, practice professionalism, civility and courtesy, and prioritize family.

“Graduates, you’ve already faced complicated and persistent challenges when trying to balance the many demands in your lives. As you begin to practice your profession, choose your priorities deliberately and re-commit each day to your important relationships,” said Judge Brown.

Judge Brown was appointed United States District Judge for the District of Oregon by President William Jefferson Clinton, and confirmed by the United States Senate on October 15, 1999. She was recognized in 2000 as Lewis and Clark Law School’s Distinguished Graduate and, most recently, she was honored in a ceremony at the U.S. Supreme Court as the 2017 recipient of the American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the Ninth Circuit. She assumed “Senior Status” as a U. S. District Judge on July 27, 2017.

A highlight of the ceremony was the speech given by Katrina Krebs, who delivered a reflection of the graduates.

“Despite how challenging these past three years have been and the amount of stress I endured, I can easily say that going to Lewis and Clark was the best decision I ever made,” said Krebs. “We are stronger, more confident, more driven individuals than when we entered law school – and we are equipped with the skills to be effective and fair attorneys that can effect change, improve our communities, and advocate for our clients’ interests.”

Iram Shahid Riaz presented the Leo Levinson Award for Excellence in Teaching to Associate Professor Jeffrey Jones, who was selected by the graduating class.

Following the ceremony in Pamplin Sports Center, graduates met their professors and loved ones for a dessert reception on the Law School Campus.