Swearing-In Ceremony Draws Outstanding Turnout, Media Coverage
A soaring bar passage rate and a strong sense of community among graduates of the UC Davis School of Law Class of 2009 contributed to an outstanding turnout for the 2009 Swearing-In Ceremony at King Hall on December 4. Most of the 156 members of the Class of 2009 who passed the California State Bar exam this summer were in attendance, packing the Wilkins Moot Courtroom and bringing with them an audience of family and friends that spilled over into the hallway and filled an upstairs viewing room. The event drew coverage from three local television stations. It was also videotaped by university technicians and is available for viewing on the Law School website.
Dean Kevin R. Johnson opened the proceedings by complimenting the Class of 2009 on its outstanding success, with 89 percent among first-time California State Bar exam takers passing the exam. Dean Johnson joked about the "problem" of overcrowding their success had caused and noted that next year's swearing-in ceremony would likely be held in the larger Kalmanovitz Appellate Courtroom, which is currently under construction in King Hall's new east wing.
The Honorable Kathleen Butz '81, Associate Justice, California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, administered the state oath. "I'm very pleased to be here and very proud of you," said Judge Butz. "This is a fabulous result for King Hall and I know all of you are very proud and your families are proud, too."
The Federal District Court Oath was administered by the Honorable John A. Mendez, Senior United States District Judge, Eastern District of California. "Keep your sense of humanity," he advised. "Don't let the job define you. Make sure you define the job."
King Hall Alumni Association President Steve Boutin '72 gave closing remarks, praising the group's bar passage rate, which he called "the highest in recent memory," as well as the outstanding turnout. "What this reflects is not only a high bar passage, but also a great deal of camaraderie, because it shows that you wanted to go through this ceremony together," he said. "This is truly one of life's moments to savor. For many of you, this is not only a culmination not only of months of waiting or years of study, but the realization of a lifelong dream."
The Swearing-In Ceremony drew coverage from KOVR-13, KUVS-19, and KTXL-40. The local television stations' reports focused on Sara Granda '09, who was able to take the bar exam in July only after petitioning the California Supreme Court to order the State Bar to allow her to take the test after it had previously rejected her application as a result of a filing error. Granda, who was injured in an automobile accident and has been paralyzed from the neck down since age 17, drew widespread media attention when she petitioned the Court and subsequently passed the exam. The KTXL report included interviews with Granda and Dean Johnson, and noted the Law School's outstanding bar passage rate, which, including 2009 King Hall graduates who passed the bar outside of California, reached 90 percent.
KTXL-40 news report
Watch Swearing-In Ceremony video