Tuesday, December 12, 2017
After having to cancel last week's bar swearing in ceremony due to the Southern California wildfires, we held the event last night at Smothers Theater on the Pepperdine campus. I was honored to share the stage with our alumni director Jessie Fahy and three of our graduates who are judges: Tricia Bigelow ('86), Second District Court of Appeal, Division Eight; Andre Birotte ('91), U.S. District Court for the Central District of California; and Julie Palafox ('83), Orange County Superior Court.
There was someone missing from last night's ceremony: U.S. District Court Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell ('90), who died on October 8 at the age of 52. Bev was our first alum to become a federal judge, and she took great joy in swearing in our grads each year.
I closed my remarks by quoting verses from two songs in the musical Hamilton:
Bev left an enormous legacy in the law and at this law school that she will never get to see. Bev loved Pepperdine law school and she loved Pepperdine law students. In many ways, you are Bev’s legacy. As you leave this place tonight and begin what I am confident will be rewarding and successful careers, know that in doing so you will be helping to tell the story of Beverly Reid O’Connell.