Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

April 01, 2014
Southwestern to Honor Prominent Alumni and Friends at Annual Awards Event

On Thursday, April 24, the Southwestern Alumni Association will honor three distinguished members of the Southwestern community at the 26th Annual Awards Recognition Reception and Auction:

  • Steven P. Byrne '77 of Byrne & Associates as "Alumnus of the Year"
  • Hon. Sandra L. Margulies '77, California Court of Appeals, First Appellate District, as "Outstanding Judicial Officer"
  • Austen L. Parrish, Dean and James H. Rudy Professor of Law, Indiana University Maurer School of Law and former Southwestern Professor of Law and Interim Dean as "Outstanding Friend"

During this year's event, an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree will be conferred on former trustee Jana Waring Greer, a long-term member of the Southwestern Board of Trustees and generous benefactor of the law school for more than 25 years (see full story here).

"Our honorees are truly exceptional," Dean Susan Prager said. "They are leaders, innovators, and role models who reflect the very best of Southwestern. We are proud and privileged to honor them."

The event is designed to recognize individuals for their extraordinary service to the law school, the community and the legal profession, as well as raise money from the annual silent auction to benefit the Alumni Associationā€™s Scholarship Fund, which is applied toward scholarships for deserving Southwestern students.

Steve ByrneAlumnus of the Year - Steven P. Byrne '77

Throughout his distinguished career as a highly respected expert in property law and finance, Steven Byrne has continued his close connection with Southwestern. A graduate of the inaugural class of the two-year SCALE accelerated J.D. program, he has served as President and long term member of the Alumni Association, on the adjunct faculty and on the Board of Trustees. Mr. Byrne began his legal career as an associate with Cayer & Westrup. In 1983, he joined the legal department of City National Bank. As Senior Counsel, he represented the bank in negotiation and enforcement of loan agreements, real estate development, escrows and bank operations, and supervised other members of the litigation section of the legal department. After more than a decade with the bank, Mr. Byrne went on to establish, Byrne & Associates in 1994, focusing his practice on real property finance, development and management. Mr. Byrne has made his continuing involvement with Southwestern one of his main priorities for nearly four decades and has served in many leadership capacities. He was elected to the Alumni Association Board of Directors in 2002, and served as President of the Association from 2007 through 2009. In 2007, Mr. Byrne was also appointed to the Southwestern Board of Trustees as the Alumni Association representative. He currently serves as Special Counsel to the Board and Chair of the Real Estate Development Committee, responsible for development of The Residences at 7th student housing complex, and other campus enhancement projects. As an Adjunct Associate Professor of Law for Southwestern's Graduate Legal Academic Program, Mr. Byrne lectures on such topics as Civil Litigation, Discovery, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Law Office Management. Like many of the program's faculty, he donates his compensation back to the Alumni Association Scholarship Fund.

The Hon. Sandra L. Margulies '77Outstanding Judicial Officer  - The Hon. Sandra L. Margulies '77

Justice Sandra Margulies has led a distinguished career in public service for nearly four decades as a prosecutor, a Judge of the Municipal and Superior Courts, and an Associate Justice of the Court of Appeal. After graduating from Southwestern in 1977, Justice Margulies began her legal career as a Deputy District Attorney in the Alameda County District Attorney's Office. During her seven and a half years as a prosecutor, she handled misdemeanor and felony trials, and developed an expertise in search and seizure law. Governor George Deukmajian appointed Justice Margulies to the San Leandro-Hayward Municipal Court in 1985 and elevated her to the Alameda County Superior Court in 1988. Her assignments in Superior Court included civil and criminal trials, civil law and motion, and probate. In 2002, Governor Gray Davis nominated Justice Margulies to the California Court of Appeal, First District, Division One, where she currently serves. Beyond the courtroom, Justice Margulies has been involved in judicial education since 1987 as a faculty member of the Judicial College and New Judges Orientation and as the current team leader of the faculty teaching a course in elder abuse. From 2006 to 2011, she served as Chair of the Judicial Council Advisory Committee on Criminal Jury Instructions. She currently chairs the State Bar Applicant Evaluations and Nomination Committee, which is charged with evaluating judicial state bar applications and recommending qualified candidates to the appointing authorities. An active supporter of Southwestern since she graduated, she has supervised Southwestern externs in her court.

Dean Austen ParrishOutstanding Friend - Austen L. Parrish

While he may currently hold the title of Dean and James H. Rudy Professor of Law of the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, Austen Parrish will always be a beloved member of the Southwestern community. He is a highly respected administrator, teacher and scholar whose dedication, vision, enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit had a tremendous impact on the advancement of Southwestern for more than a decade. Dean Parrish was appointed to the Southwestern faculty in 2002 and taught in the areas of civil procedure, constitutional law, federal courts and international law. He also directed the Summer Law Program in Vancouver, B.C., Canada for eight years. He was named as the Irwin R. Buchalter Professor of Law in 2007, and received the Excellence in Teaching Award in addition to being selected numerous times as Commencement Grand Marshal. From 2008 to 2012, Dean Parrish served as the law school's Vice Dean, with responsibility for the overall academic program, including initiatives that brought Southwestern national recognition for curricular reform, professionalism and skills training. In July 2012, the Board of Trustees appointed him as Interim Dean and Chief Executive Officer. In that role, he oversaw the completion of the new on-campus student housing complex, established major partnerships with local and international universities, and led the move from a silent to a public phase of the New Era capital campaign. Reflecting the deep admiration and affection of his former students, Dean Parrish was once again selected as Grand Marshal by the 2014 graduating class and will come back from Indiana to do the honors of presenting the graduates at Southwestern's commencement exercises in May.

The Awards Recognition Reception and Silent Auction will be held from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m. at Southwestern. Tickets are $60 and reservations are required. To make reservations online or for more information, visit click here or contact Southwestern's Institutional Advancement Office.