Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

ABA President-Elect Karen Mathis to Speak at Southwestern Commencement April 25, 2006
ABA President-Elect Karen Mathis to Speak at Southwestern Commencement

Mathis and Dean Emeritus Leigh Taylor Will Receive Honorary Degrees

Karen J. Mathis, President-Elect of the American Bar Association (ABA), will be the keynote speaker at Southwestern Law School's 91st Commencement ceremony where J.D. degrees will be conferred on 315 graduates, and LL.M. degrees in Entertainment and Media Law will be conferred on 7 graduates. Honorary Doctor of Laws (LL.D.) degrees will also be presented to Mathis and Leigh Taylor, the law school's former dean. The event will be held at the Shrine Auditorium on Sunday, May 21, 2006.

Mathis, whose distinguished legal career has spanned more than three decades, was a founder and shareholder in the Denver law firm of Hall & Mathis, P.C., for 18 years before it merged into the national firm of McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, LLP in November 2004. A trailblazer for women in the legal profession and an active leader in the ABA since 1977, Mathis will become the third woman to serve as president of the 400,000-member national organization when she takes office in August '06.

Dean Emeritus Leigh Taylor

Dean Emeritus Leigh H. Taylor, who led Southwestern for 27 years as dean and chief executive officer, is one of the most highly respected legal educators in the country, and at the time of his retirement in July 2005, was the longest serving dean in the U.S. He has held numerous leadership posts in the ABA, the Association of American Law Schools, the Law School Admission Council (former chair) and the National Association for Law Placement Foundation (current chair). He is admired particularly for his efforts to ensure the rights of women and minorities.