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Trial lawyer chief to address law school graduates

Tuesday, May. 13, 2003

SANTA CLARA, Calif.- May 13, 2003--Mary Alexander, a nationally renowned trial lawyer will speak Saturday, May 24 at the 2003 commencement ceremonies for the Santa Clara University School of Law. Mary Alexander is president of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA) and principal of the San Francisco firm, Mary Alexander and Associates.

Alexander is an alum of the Santa Clara University School of Law and is recognized for her experience in personal injury, product liability, and business litigation. She has a master's degree in public health from the University of California, Berkeley. Alexander is the first Californian to lead the Association of Trial Lawyers of America in two decades. Alexander was president of the Consumer Attorneys of California in 1996.

Ms. Alexander received the 2001 "Trial Lawyer of the Year" award from Themis Capital Corporation and was named one of the top 10 trial lawyers in the Bay Area in 1990 by the San Francisco Chronicle.  The legal newspaper The California Daily Journal named her one of the top 100 most influential lawyers in California in 2001 and 2002, and one of the top 30 women trial lawyers in California, 2002.

Ms. Alexander helped launch Trial Lawyers Care - one of the largest pro bono legal services program ever undertaken.  The New York-based Trial Lawyers Care, Inc., has matched 1,500 victims' families with volunteer attorneys who help families file claims under the federal government's September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.  Ms. Alexander is also a volunteer attorney for this program.

The law school expects to award 294 J.D. degrees and 13 LLM degrees at the commencement ceremony which will be held at 10:30 a.m. in the Mission Gardens on Santa Clara University's campus.

The ceremonies will also honor Edward Panelli, former Justice of the California Supreme Court and an alum of the Santa Clara University School of Law. Panelli steps down in May as chair of the University's board of trustees. He will receive the Peter Burnett Award for Distinguished Public Service.

The law school will host an open house for family and friends of the graduates on Friday, May 23 at 1:30 p.m. The open house will be followed by a baccalaureate ceremony/Mass at the Mission Church at 4 p.m.

About Santa Clara University School of Law

The SCU School of Law, founded in 1912, combines a tradition of excellence with a commitment to ethics, diversity, and social justice, and is fully accredited by the American Bar Association. Its students work in criminal and civil community law clinics and may earn certificates in intellectual property law, international law or public interest law, and LL.M. degrees in intellectual property law and international law. For more information, visit

About Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located in California's Silicon Valley, offers its 8,060 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master's and law degrees. Distinguished nationally by the fourth-highest graduation rate among all U.S. master's universities, California's oldest higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. More information is online at


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