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Judge Patricia McGowan Wald to speak at IU McKinney School of Law commencement

Graduation 2011
Graduation 2011


May 11, 2012

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Patricia McGowan Wald, former chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, will deliver the 2012 commencement address for Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

The law school ceremony takes place at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 12, in the Sagamore Ballroom at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis.

Other commencement speakers include Dean Gary R. Roberts, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Chancellor Charles R. Bantz, and speakers elected by the student body: Bianca Buechner (LL.M. Division), Alfred Degrafinreid II (full-time J.D. Division) and Marti Showers (part-time J.D. Division).

Wald served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for 20 years, from 1979 to 1999, including five years as chief judge. She was a member of the American Bar Association’s Central and Eastern Europe Law Initiative Executive Committee from 1993 to 1999, working on constitutional and judicial reform in that region’s emerging democracies.

Judge Wald was the first woman on the D.C. Circuit bench and the first woman to head Legislative Affairs in the U.S. Department of Justice. She was the recipient of the American Bar Association’s Medal of Honor in 2008.

In 1999, then-U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed Wald to serve as a judge on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, where she sat on the tribunal’s first Srebrenica genocide trial.

Since 2002, Wald, a graduate of Yale Law School, has been a member of the governing body of the Open Society Justice Initiative, a member of the President’s Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, an advisor to the American Law Institute’s Sentencing Project and a co-chair of the advisory board to the DLA Piper law firm’s New Perimeter Project.

About the IU McKinney School of Law

With more than 1,000 students, IU McKinney School of Law is the largest law school in Indiana. Located in downtown Indianapolis, the school has enjoyed great success in preparing students for legal careers for more than 100 years, as evidenced by the presence of alumni in the judiciary and other branches of government, business, civic leadership and law practice. The school’s 10,000 graduates reside in every state in the nation and several foreign countries. More information is available at