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Trio of jurists to receive law school’s Distinguished Alumni Award

Tue, 05/06/2014

LAWRENCE — Three University of Kansas School of Law alumni with distinguished careers in the judiciary and public service are set to receive the school’s highest honor.

Retired Kansas Supreme Court Justice Edward Larson, Judge Mary Murguia of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and Judge Julie Robinson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas will be honored with the law school’s Distinguished Alumni Award at an invitation-only ceremony Saturday, May 10, in Lawrence.

A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Justice Edward Larson earned his KU law degree in 1960, then practiced law and served as a municipal judge in Hays. In 1987 he was appointed to the Kansas Court of Appeals and then tapped for the Kansas Supreme Court in 1995. He retired in 2002. In addition to his service on the bench, Larson served on the Kansas Board of Law Examiners, was president of the Kansas University Law Society, and served as a member of the Governor’s Committee on Children and Families and the Kansas Children’s Cabinet.

A former state and federal prosecutor, Judge Mary Murguia earned two bachelor’s degrees from KU in 1982 and her law degree in 1985. She began her legal career with the Wyandotte County District Attorney’s Office in Kansas City, Kansas. From 1990 to 2000, Murguia served in various prosecutorial and administrative roles in the District of Arizona U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Executive Office for United States Attorneys at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. In 2000, President Clinton appointed Murguia a U.S. district judge for the District of Arizona. She was the first Latina on a federal bench for that district. In 2010, she was nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit by President Obama. Murguia also served on KU Law’s Board of Governors and is a founding member of the law school’s Women’s Advisory Council.​

Judge Julie Robinson earned a bachelor’s in journalism at KU in 1978 and her law degree in 1981. Following law school, she clerked for Chief Bankruptcy Judge Benjamin E. Franklin and then served as an assistant U.S. attorney for 11 years, handling both civil litigation and criminal prosecutions. She served as a U.S. bankruptcy judge from 1994 to 2001, when she was appointed by President George W. Bush to the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. Robinson was the first African-American woman to serve on that court. She is past-president of the KU Law Board of Governors and has taught Trial Advocacy as an adjunct professor at KU Law. Robinson is a trustee of the Saint Paul School of Theology, a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a commissioner of the U.S. Supreme Court Fellow program and was recently appointed to the board of trustees of the American Inns of Court.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented annually to KU School of Law graduates who have distinguished themselves through exemplary service to the legal profession, their communities, the university, and the state or country. Since 1964, the school has honored 71 alumni “whose lives have benefited the community and whose noteworthy contributions throughout the year have brought honor to the School of Law.”

View previous Distinguished Alumni Award recipients on the law school’s website.

New recipients of the James Woods Green Medallion, named in honor of the law school’s first dean, will also be recognized at the ceremony. The school presents medallions to its major financial contributors. This year’s honorees include Terry Arthur, Class of 1969, and Virginia Thomas Arthur; Chevron Products Company; Mark M. Deatherage, Class of 1985; Fleeson, Gooing, Coulson & Kitch; David J. Gottlieb and Rita Sloan Gottlieb; Frederick B. Gould, Class of 1989, and Julie Pigott Gould; John W. Head and Lucia Orth Head; Harry H. Herington Jr., Class of 1993, and Cindy Herington; Leon and Lee T. Karelitz Trust; Kansas Women Attorneys Association;  Lucy E. Mason, Class of 1992, and Cris Sena; Madeleine M. McDonough, Class of 1990; Omer G. Voss Jr; Wagstaff & Cartmell LLP; Martha S. Warren, Class of 1987; and Perry D. Warren, Class of 1973, and Janet Beebe Warren.



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