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Law school swears in 142 recent graduates to the state and federal courts 

Pepperdine University School of Law welcomed more than 400 guests for the California Bar Admissions Ceremony on Friday, Dec. 9 from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Caruso Auditorium. One hundred and forty two School of Law graduates, who passed the July 2011 California Bar Exam, were sworn in to state and federal courts.

Judge Beverly Reid O'Connell (JD '90), of the Los Angeles Superior Court, and Deanell Reece Tacha, Duane and Kelly Roberts Dean of the law school, presided over the ceremony. When addressing the graduates, Judge O'Connell encouraged the new lawyers to consider the responsibilities and privileges of a career in the law.

"Entrusted to you is the future of our laws," Judge O'Connell told the graduates. "Some may think that judges are the most important cog in the legal system, but I submit to you that the lawyers are the most important component. We must sit passively and adjudge the matters you bring to us. You will, through the lawsuits you bring and legal issues you raise, create the future of our laws. Your imagination is your only limitation on the evolution of our laws."

The recent results of the July 2011 California Bar Exams showed that Pepperdine achieved high marks on the July California Bar Exams, after strong showings for the past five years. The passage rate for all takers was 54.8 percent, and the passage rate for all first-time takers from California ABA-Approved Schools was 76 percent; Pepperdine, however, achieved an 86.26 percent passage rate of first-time takers of the California Bar Exam, and 89 percent overall, including out of state bar exams. School of Law students who took the exam out of state achieved a 100 percent pass rate, with all 30 passing.

The success comes on the heels of a top February 2011 rate, in which Pepperdine enjoyed a 92 percent passage rate for all first-time test takers, including 9 out of 9 students passing the California Bar Exam. Pepperdine's success rate for 2011 first-time California Bar Exam test takers overall stands at 87 percent.

"We are heartened and gratified with the bar passage results for the Class of 2011," says Jim Gash, associate dean of students. "Having our passage rate 10 or more points above the ABA average for California schools for two years in a row confirms what we already know—we are a law school on the rise and continue to gain momentum."