Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

April 07, 2010
Judith Otamura-Kester, Hon. Otis Wright and Anita Glasco Honored at Annual Alumni Awards

The Southwestern community will salute three individuals who have contributed significantly to the legal profession, the law school and the greater community at the 23rd Annual Awards Recognition Reception, Silent Auction and Reunion on Thursday, April 22. The late Judith K. Otamura-Kester '77, a prominent attorney and former president of Southwestern's Alumni Board of Directors, will be posthumously honored as Alumna of the Year; the Hon. Otis D. Wright II '80, Judge, United States District Court for the Central District of California, will be recognized as Outstanding Judicial Officer; and Anita L. Glasco, Southwestern Professor of Law Emeritus, will be named Outstanding Friend.

This annual event provides the Alumni Association and other members of the Southwestern community the opportunity to recognize alumni and friends for their outstanding service. In addition to the awards ceremony and cocktail reception, the evening features a silent auction benefiting the Alumni Scholarship Fund. The reception begins at 6:30 p.m. at the law school campus. The cost to attend is $50 per person. Reservations are required and can be made by calling Southwestern's Institutional Advancement Office.

Judith Otamura-Kester '77
Alumna of the Year

Ms. Kester, who passed away in 2009 at the age of 57, began her legal career at the downtown law firm of Smaltz & Neeley, where she handled civil litigation law and motion and appellate matters for several years. In 1993, she joined the global investment bank and institutional securities firm Jefferies & Company, Inc., where she served as Associate General Counsel and Managing Director. A lifelong resident of Southern California, Ms. Kester completed her undergraduate work at UCLA before earning her J.D. degree. She was a member of the Southwestern Alumni Board of Directors for more than 13 years and served as its President from 2003 to 2007, as well as on the Dean's Search Committee.

Hon. Otis D. Wright, II '80
Outstanding Judicial Officer

In 2007, Judge Wright was inducted as a judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, where he presides over cases from Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties. Prior to this, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Judge Wright to the Superior Court in 2005, where he was assigned to the Substance Abuse Court. He began his legal career as a Deputy Attorney General in the Criminal Appeals Section of the California Department of Justice, handling more than 200 appeals before the state's Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. He went on to join the international law firm of Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker, where he became a partner and was a civil litigator for 22 years. Judge Wright previously served 11 years as a deputy sheriff in Los Angeles while completing his undergraduate and law degrees. Since 2002, he has served on Southwestern's Board of Trustees.

Professor Emeritus Anita Glasco
Outstanding Friend

During her 25 years of service at Southwestern, Professor Glasco taught a variety of international and comparative law courses and served as a faculty advisor to numerous student groups. Upon her retirement in 1998, she was appointed Professor Emeritus. In 2004, she was inducted into the Langston Bar Association of Los Angeles Hall of Fame. Professor Glasco earned her A.B. in Political Science, cum laude, from the University of Southern California, her J.D. from Harvard Law School, and her Master of Comparative Law (M.C.L.) degree at the University of Chicago, where she was a Ford Foundation Fellow in the Foreign Law Program. During her distinguished teaching career, Professor Glasco lectured at and served as a consultant to the University of Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania, the University of Sofia in Bulgaria, Zhongshan University in the People's Republic of China, and the Moscow Conference on Law and Economic Relations. Prior to joining Southwestern, Professor Glasco was a private practitioner in the Los Angeles law firm of Smith & Glasco.