On May 20, 2016, Pepperdine University School of Law held its commencement ceremony for the Class of 2016 in beautiful Alumni Park in Malibu, California, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The main address featured Linda A. Klein, President of the American Bar Association and a Litigation Counsel of America Fellow. G. Steven Henry, Executive Director and General Counsel of the LCA, and Pepperdine School of Law Board Member, was on hand to congratulate Ms. Klein.
Ms. Klein received an Honorary Degree (Honoris Causa) before delivering the commencement address. In addition to serving as President of the American Bar Association, she is Senior Managing Shareholder at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz in Atlanta, Georgia. President Klein opened by saying, "You have built something here," describing how the tools and infrastructure gained from a Pepperdine Law education could build a career, much how her family of builders built strong homes on top of solid foundations. She also pointed out several Pepperdine clinics had already used work ethic and unique opportunities to make a difference: the Global Justice trip to India, the Justice Bus to benefit veterans, and the Los Angeles Incubator Consortium that allows new lawyers to serve modest-means clients. Reflecting all that had followed her own graduation, Klein assured the graduates, "You will love this." She then concluded with some sober advice: "One day you will be asked to do something that isn't right. Choose to follow your instincts and training .. That's always been a tradition here [at Pepperdine Law]. Treasure that."
Dean Deanell Tacha followed the Commencement Address with the presentation of candidates for graduate degrees, which were conferred by University Provost Rick R. Marrs. The ceremony concluded by a benediction delivered by Michael A. Helfand (Associate Professor of Law and Associate Director, Diane and Guilford Glazer Institute for Jewish Studies).