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Jim Gash Honored as International Lawyer of Year

At the State Bar of California's Annual Meeting on October 12, 2013, the International Law Section honored Pepperdine Law's Professor James A. Gash as the winner of the 2013 Warren G. Christopher International Lawyer of the Year Award. This honor was given to Professor Gash because of his unique efforts during the past several years to bring the rule of law to Uganda, with a special focus on the rights and plight of children caught up in the Uganda prison system.

Professor James A. GashThe State Bar of California's International Bar wrote of the ceremony, "During James Gash's speech, International Law Section members and advisors had a chance to learn more about his efforts and challenges to help bring the rule of law to Uganda's weakest and vulnerable: children. With more than half of Uganda's population children and juveniles, Uganda is the 'youngest' country in the world. Professor Gash talked about how Uganda's children represent a lost generation whose family units too often fall victim to AIDS, other infectious diseases, and the dire societal consequences of civil war. Many juveniles are ending up in jail and often wait for up to six years for a day in court. Professor Gash recounted how he felt the urge to make a difference in the world, took a sabbatical at Pepperdine University and, together with his courageous family, left for Uganda for six months to help build from scratch a juvenile justice system that ultimately went country wide in 2012. His experiences are chronicled on his blog Those of us in the International Law Section attending the reception were deeply moved and reminded by Professor Gash of the noble calling of our legal profession and opportunities for all of us as lawyer citizens to bring justice and the rule of law to the weakest and most vulnerable of global citizens. In the end, he encouraged all of us to help throw "starfish", i.e. to lend a helping hand to those stranded back into the ocean of life." Read the State Bar of California's article about Professor Gash's award at

From Professor Gash's faculty biography: After majoring in finance at Abilene Christian University, Professor Gash continued his education at Pepperdine University School of Law. As a law student, he finished first in his class and served as the editor-in-chief of the Pepperdine Law Review. From 2005 through 2012, Professor Gash served as Associate Dean for Student Life, and since January of 2012, he has served as Specialist Advisor to the Ugandan High Court. During his first year of law school, Professor Gash decided that his career goal would be to return to teach at Pepperdine where his passion for the law was ignited and his spiritual life was enriched by the faculty, administration, and community. He teaches Torts, Evidence, and Legal Ethics.