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April 2016

Stock pic for law commencement

Stock pic for law commencement

Esteemed Jurists Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar and Lucy Koh to Serve as Santa Clara Law Commencement Speakers May 21

Judges at the forefront of California and national tech, immigration and criminal law speaking to SCU Law Class of 2016

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Apr. 4, 2016  -- California Supreme Court Justice Mariano Florentino-Cuéllar and U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh of the Northern District of California will be the featured speakers at Santa Clara University School of Law’s 2016 commencement.

The ceremony will take place at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 21, on the University’s Mission Gardens.

“We are very honored and pleased to welcome two of the nation’s top judicial minds -- and our first-ever commencement-speaker duo -- to address our graduating class this year,” said Lisa Kloppenberg, dean of Santa Clara University School of Law. “Justice Cuéllar and Judge Koh are  at the forefront on legal issues of vital importance to our students who will be practicing in the areas of technology, immigration, and criminal law. We are delighted to welcome them to campus.”


California Supreme Court Justice Cuellar

An expert in administrative, criminal and international law, Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar was nominated to the California Supreme Court by Gov. Jerry Brown, and sworn in on Jan. 5, 2015.  Before joining the judiciary, he served in two presidential administrations.  During the Obama administration, he worked at the White House on criminal and civil justice, public health and safety, regulatory reform, immigration and other issues, and during the Clinton administration, he worked at the U.S. Treasury Department on targeting financial and cross-border crime.  From 2011 to 2013, he co-chaired the U.S. Department of Education’s Equity and Excellence Commission, which provided comprehensive recommendations to improve public education across the country.

Cuéllar is also the former Stanley Morrison Professor of Law at Stanford University, where he was a full-time member of the faculty from 2001 to 2015 and also taught in the Department of Political Science. He served as director of the University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and earlier, as co-director of the Institute’s Center for International Security and Cooperation. He also led university-wide initiatives on global poverty and on cybersecurity.

He serves on the boards of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the American Law Institute, and the American Bar Foundation, and leads the California judiciary’s Language Access Implementation Task Force.  A naturalized U.S. citizen born in northern Mexico, he holds a B.A. magna cum laude from Harvard University; a J.D. from Yale Law School; and a Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University. He is married to Judge Koh, and they have two children.


Federal district court judge Lucy Koh

Judge Lucy Haeran Koh is well-known in Silicon Valley for presiding over numerous high profile technology lawsuits, including three Apple v. Samsung jury trials and cases alleging salary collusion by many high-tech companies.

President Barack Obama appointed her to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in June 2010.  Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed her to the California Superior Court for Santa Clara County in January 2008.  President Obama nominated her to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in February 2016.

Prior to joining the bench, she was a partner specializing in patent and commercial litigation at the Silicon Valley office of McDermott Will & Emery; an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Major Frauds Section of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles; and in Washington, D.C. a Special Assistant to the U.S. Deputy Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice and a Fellow on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee.

The child of Korean immigrants, Koh grew up in Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Maryland and received her undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard University.  She is married to Justice Cuellar, and they have two children.

About Santa Clara University School of Law
Santa Clara University School of Law, one of the nation’s most diverse law schools, is dedicated to educating lawyers who lead with a commitment to excellence, ethics, and social justice.  Santa Clara Law offers students an academically rigorous program including certificates in high tech law, international law, public interest and social justice law, and privacy law, as well as numerous graduate and joint degree options.  Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Santa Clara Law is nationally distinguished for its faculty engagement, preparation for practice, and top-ranked programs in intellectual property.  For more information, see

Media Contact
Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Relations | | 408-554-5121


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