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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to attend UC Davis School of Law 2018 Commencement

News Posted on March 28, 2018


Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, will be a featured guest at the UC Davis School of Law Commencement Ceremony. The event will be held at the UC Davis Mondavi Center on Saturday, May 19. 

As the first Latina U.S. Supreme Court Justice, and third female justice in the nation's highest court's history, Justice Sotomayor is a pioneer in the legal profession. With the only majority-minority faculty of America’s leading law schools, UC Davis School of Law is committed to building diversity among its faculty and students. The school is also dedicated to social justice and public interest law and is named after Martin Luther King, Jr. Justice Sotomayor embodies the ideals of the King Hall community.

Kevin R. Johnson - UC Davis Law Dean and Mabie-Apallas Professor of Public Interest Law and Chicana/o Studies - said Justice Sotomayor’s visit has special significance.

“Justice Sotomayor is an inspiration to all of us at Martin Luther King, Jr. Hall. Her participation in commencement 2018 is a historic moment for the UC Davis School of Law,” Johnson said.

Approximately 250 J.D. and Master of Laws (LL.M.) students will receive their degrees at the ceremony. Justice Sotomayor will participate in a conversation with her former law clerk, UC Davis Law Professor Aaron Tang. A select group of students will have the opportunity to ask Justice Sotomayor questions during the event. This format will allow the Justice to interact directly with the graduates and have a discussion about the law as well as share her advice for the future lawyers.

Justice Sotomayor is the second U.S. Supreme Court justice to attend a UC Davis School of Law commencement. In 1987, Associate Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. delivered the commencement address.

*Due to space limitations at the Mondavi Center tickets are reserved for graduates and their guests. A live feed of the ceremony will be broadcast throughout King Hall.

About Justice Sotomayor:

Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, was born in Bronx, New York, on June 25, 1954. She earned a B.A. in 1976 from Princeton University, graduating summa cum laude and receiving the university's highest academic honor. In 1979, she earned a J.D. from Yale Law School where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal. She thereafter served as Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney's Office from 1979–1984. She then litigated international commercial matters in New York City at Pavia & Harcourt, where she was an associate and then partner from 1984–1992. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated her to the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, and she served in that role from 1992–1998. She then served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1998–2009. President Barack Obama nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on May 26, 2009, and she assumed this role August 8, 2009.