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McGeorge 90th Anniversary

On March 15, Pacific McGeorge School of Law will recognize its 90th academic year in a student-led benefit celebration at the Sheraton Grand in Sacramento.

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Pacific News

Pacific McGeorge to Celebrate 90th Anniversary

A benefit celebration on March 15 in Sacramento will mark the school's 90th academic year and celebrate its legacy of “change and innovation”
Mar 10, 2014

Ninety years ago, what would become University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law was a one-room night school in downtown Sacramento. Today, the school boasts alumni who are U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and state Supreme Court justices; leading faculty members who include a U.S. Supreme Court justice; and a legacy of strong service to the Sacramento legal community and region.  

On March 15, Pacific McGeorge School of Law is set to celebrate its 90th academic year and its evolution into an internationally recognized law school known for preparing generations of legal leaders and shaping legal education in California and the nation. Alumni, community leaders and members of the legal community will gather at the Sheraton Grand for an event benefiting the Pacific McGeorge Public Legal Services Society.  

"McGeorge is a Sacramento institution, having prepared generations of influential leaders," said President Pamela A. Eibeck. "Since 1924, our law school has made its mark through excellent teaching, talented students, and game-changing legal scholarship. No doubt McGeorge will continue to influence California and legal education for the next 90 years and beyond." 

McGeorge School of LawPacific McGeorge's journey began when Verne A. McGeorge "rescued" students from the former Sacramento Law School after it closed unexpectedly. He offered law classes in his living room and put a faculty back together by convincing Sacramento's top attorneys and judges to teach while his wife, Annabelle, took over as secretary.  

The school's first commencement in spring 1925 marked the graduation of five new attorneys. At its 89th commencement in May 2013, the school awarded 319 Juris Doctorate degrees and 20 LL.M. degrees and today boasts a strong alumni base of more than 13,000.  

Today, Pacific McGeorge alumni work all over the world. The school has more than 260 alumni who have served or are serving as judges, justices, commissioners, referees and administrative law judges throughout the country. These include a Chief Judge on the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of California, two justices on the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, and state Supreme Court justices in Nebraska and Nevada.

"Change and innovation have been the legacy of this great law school: beginning as an evening school to fill a need in Sacramento, developing into a full-time ABA-accredited law school, and then becoming part of the University of the Pacific. For 90 years we have been committed to providing our students with an outstanding legal education that includes a strong experiential component."    — Dean Francis J. Mootz III

Currently, more than 660 students are enrolled in various programs and are taught by 48 full-time and 68 part-time professors who hold law degrees from schools such as Harvard, University of Chicago, Stanford, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Northwestern University, Pacific McGeorge, and Georgetown.

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has taught constitutional law as a member of the Pacific McGeorge faculty for nearly a quarter century.

United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy taught Constitutional Law as a member of the Pacific McGeorge faculty from 1965 until his appointment to the Supreme Court by President Reagan in 1988. This summer, Justice Kennedy will celebrate his 25th year teaching at Pacific McGeorge in the school's Salzburg Summer Program in Austria.

Pacific McGeorge serves the Sacramento legal community with its state-of-the-art Legal Studies Center, which opened in 2011, and houses the Gordon D. Schaber Law Library. The Pacific McGeorge Courtroom underwent renovations in 2013 to integrate state-of-the-art technology throughout. The Courtroom is used by the Pacific McGeorge National Ethics Trial Competition, attorneys and community groups contracting with Focused Decisions (, and the award-winning Anthony M. Kennedy Inns of Court.

Courtroom of TodayIts programs and offerings have evolved as well. The law school added a new graduate program in 2013, the Master of Science in Law, for individuals whose careers require a strong background in the law, but who do not require a J.D. degree, such as health care administration, government law and policy, human resources management, or education law. Over the next two years the University of the Pacific plans to launch additional graduate programs on the Sacramento campus that will have deep synergies with the law school and will provide interdisciplinary education in law, business and policy.

The school's commitment to experiential learning opportunities for students is enhanced through pioneering legal clinics. Programs such as the Immigration Law Clinic, the Elder and Health Law Clinic, Federal Defender Clinic and the Housing Mediation Clinic, provide quality pro bono representation to underserved community members. In the process of delivering an important community service, students learn to apply legal theory to practice, develop professional lawyering skills and become reflective practitioners.

Pacific McGeorge's 90th Anniversary Celebration will benefit the Pacific McGeorge Public Legal Services Society (PLSS), which provides financial support to students and recent graduates pursuing careers that serve the public interest. The event will be held the evening of March 15, 2014, at the Sheraton Grand in Sacramento. Learn more about PLSS>>

To find out more about this event and Pacific McGeorge's 90 years of excellence, visit


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