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Pepperdine Law's Newly-Minted Lawyers

December 11, 2017 | Due to relentless wildfires across Southern California, Pepperdine Law was forced to reschedule the Bar Swearing-In Ceremony. Graduates were given the option of still getting sworn in if they had family travelling for the ceremony or needed to be sworn in early for professional reasons.

The event was finally held on Monday, December, 11, at Smothers Theater on the Pepperdine campus. Dean Caron shared the stage with Director of Law Alumni Relations, Jessie Fahy, and three of our graduates who are judges: Tricia Bigelow ('86), Second District Court of Appeal, Division Eight; Andre Birotte ('91), U.S. District Court for the Central District of California; and Julie Palafox ('83), Orange County Superior Court.

There was, however, someone missing from the ceremony: U.S. District Court Judge Beverly Reid O'Connell ('90), who passed away on October 8 at the age of 52. Judge O'Connell was our first alum to become a federal judge, and she took great joy in swearing in our graduates each year. Justice Bigelow delivered a heartfelt tribute of her beloved colleague and friend.


Dean Caron made closing remarks, quoting verses from two songs in the musical Hamilton: "Bev left an enormous legacy in the law and at this law school that she will never get to see. Bev loved Pepperdine Law school and she loved Pepperdine law students. In many ways, you are Bev's legacy. As you leave this place tonight and begin what I am confident will be rewarding and successful careers, know that in doing so you will be helping to tell the story of Beverly Reid O'Connell."

What is a legacy? It is planting seeds in a garden you never get to see

You have no control: Who lives, who dies, who tells your story

A full photo recap from the ceremony may be viewed here.