Eugene, Ore. — U.S. Judge James L. Robart of the Western District of Washington will deliver the commencement address to the 2017 graduates of the University of Oregon School of Law on May 20 at the Matthew Knight Arena at 1:00 p.m.
Judge Robart, who was appointed to the federal bench by President Bush in 2003 and was confirmed unanimously by the Senate in 2004, has presided over several controversial cases in his career, including multiple free speech cases and a consent decree involving the Seattle Police Department. On Feb. 3, 2017, he authored an opinion blocking the first federal executive order to suspend portions of our nation’s refugee program along with immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. The President of the United States’ reaction to this last effort, involving disparaging comment on Twitter directed at Robart, has focused attention on the independence of the judiciary.
“We are honored and grateful to have Judge Robart join us for this year’s commencement celebrations,” said Michael Moffitt, Dean of Oregon Law. “Our graduating students have spent years exploring the rule of law, the role of service, and the promise and perils of public decision making. I can't think of anyone better than Judge Robart to share timely perspectives on these critical topics."
Robart is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center and of Whitman College. He was a civil litigator in Seattle for thirty years, principally with Lane Powell Moss and Miller, where he served as chair of the firm’s Litigation Department. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a trustee of Whitman College, and has served as president of the Seattle Children’s Home.
The School of Law was founded in 1884 in Portland, Ore. and currently operates in two locations, at main campus in Eugene and at the University of Oregon’s White Stag Block in Portland. The class of 2017 includes 106 graduates earning a Doctor of Jurisprudence and 10 graduates earning a Master of Laws. Among the class, six students have earned concurrent degrees along with their Doctor of Jurisprudence, with 1 earning a Ph.D., 2 earning Masters of Conflict Resolution, 2 earning Masters of International Studies, and 1 Master of Community and Regional Planning. Two graduates of the class of 2017 are Fulbright Scholars, and 5 are scholars of the Oxford University Human Rights Consortium. A limited number of tickets will be available for the 2017 Oregon Law Commencement at the Matthew Knight Arena box office beginning May 10. More information about commencement can be found at law.uoregon.edu/explore/commencement.