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U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton tapped as commencement speaker for Santa Clara University School of Law

SANTA CLARA, CA – May 6, 2008. The Hon. Phyllis Hamilton, U.S. District Court Judge and a Santa Clara University School of Law alumna, will address graduating students at the School of Law's 2008 commencement ceremony May 17. The event is planned for 9:30 a.m. in the University's Mission Gardens.

Judge Hamilton '76 was a deputy public defender before beginning her judicial service in 1980. She served as an administrative law judge for the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Service and also worked as an Alameda County Municipal Court commissioner. In 1991, she was appointed a U.S. magistrate judge in San Francisco, holding that post until 2000, when former President Bill Clinton nominated her as a judge for the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California.

Born in 1952 in Jacksonville, IL, Judge Hamilton received a bachelor's degree from Stanford University and graduated cum laude from SCU's School of Law in 1976. Four years ago, the school presented her with a Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award.

"We are extremely pleased that Judge Hamilton has agreed to speak to our graduating students and their families and friends on this special day in their careers," said Donald J. Polden, dean of SCU's School of Law. "She has developed a well deserved reputation for her fair and efficient handling of difficult and highly visible cases, both civil and criminal, and she has given freely and often of her time to mentor our students." He added, "She embodies the many values and attributes of the Santa Clara Law graduate."

An active mentor for high school and law school students, Judge Hamilton also participates in training and continuing education programs for lawyers. She serves on various committees for both the Northern District and the Ninth Circuit and is a member of the National Association of Women Judges and the Charles Houston Bar Association.

About Santa Clara University School of Law

Santa Clara University School of Law, founded in 1912 on the site of California's oldest operating higher-education institution, is dedicated to educating lawyers who lead with a commitment to excellence, ethics, and social justice. One of the nation's most diverse law schools, Santa Clara Law offers its 975 students an academically rigorous program, including graduate degrees in international law and intellectual property law; combined J.D./MBA degree; and certificates in intellectual property law, international law, and public interest and social justice law. Santa Clara University School of Law is located in the world-class business center of Silicon Valley, and is distinguished nationally for our top-ranked program in intellectual property. For more information, see

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California's Silicon Valley, offers its 8,377 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master's and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master's universities, California's oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see


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