Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey to Speak at Southwestern Commencement January 24, 2013
Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey to Speak at Southwestern Commencement

The Hon. Jackie Lacey, the newly elected District Attorney of Los Angeles County, will deliver the keynote address at Southwestern's 98th Commencement Ceremony on May 12, 2013 at the Shrine Auditorium. She will also receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree during the ceremony.

Dean Austen Parrish said, "As Los Angeles County's first female and first African American district attorney, Jackie Lacey is a trailblazer who has accomplished so much and has made a difference in our community through hard work and raw talent. She is a tremendous role model for our students, and I can't imagine a more appropriate person to address our new graduates. We are honored to have her join us."

As the District Attorney for Los Angeles County, Ms. Lacey oversees the largest prosecutorial agency in the nation. The District Attorney's Office has over 2,000 employees, which include nearly 1,000 prosecutors, 800 support staff and more than 250 investigators. Prior to the November 6, 2012 election, she was the Chief Deputy District Attorney, the second highest ranking prosecutor in the office, responsible for running the office's day-to-day operations. She held various other leadership positions for nearly 12 of her 28 years as a Los Angeles County prosecutor.

Southwestern trustee Robert Philibosian '67, himself a former Los Angeles County District Attorney, said, "Jackie Lacey is a true up-from-the-ranks prosecutor. She is a strong law enforcement leader who is totally dedicated to justice and public protection. We are indeed fortunate she will share her words of advice and encouragement with our new graduates during her first year in office."

After earning her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Irvine, and her J.D. degree at the University of Southern California, Ms. Lacey worked in the Santa Monica City Attorney's Office for two years before joining the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. She has tried more than 60 felony jury trials including 11 murder cases. Her most noteworthy trial was a 1998 case entitled People v. Rojas, Bryant, and Colwell, which was the first race-motivated hate crime murder conviction in Los Angeles County history.

Ms. Lacey has played a key role in launching the award winning Women's Re-entry Court and the Co-occurring Disorders (mental health) Court, heading various committees to enhance the enforcement of laws against graffiti, coordinating the multi-departmental team which launched the first Los Angeles County Veterans Court, and working with Central Operations to streamline the prosecution of all gang cases in Central Los Angeles. She also partnered with the Los Angeles Rape Treatment Center to mandate sexual assault training for juvenile court prosecutors, and was instrumental in establishing the first Animal Cruelty Prosecution Program in the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. She was named by the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal as one of California's Top Women Litigators.