U.S. District Court Chief Judge Pamela Pepper will be the keynote speaker at the 2024 University of Wisconsin Law School Hooding Ceremony. The ceremony, open to UW Law School students and their family and friends, will take place at 1 p.m. Friday, May 10, at Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center Exhibition Hall, 1 John Nolen Drive, Madison. At the ceremony — a special recognition for students receiving law degrees — faculty members place the hood over the head of the graduate to signify their success in completing their law degree. The hooding event is in addition to, and does not replace, the university-wide commencement

Judge Pamela Pepper
U.S. District Court Chief Judge Pamela Pepper

Pepper became the first woman to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin when she was nominated by President Barack Obama in 2014. She has served as chief judge since 2019. 

Judge Pepper, who grew up in a small town in the Mississippi Delta, received her J.D. from Cornell Law School in 1989 and started her career as a clerk for Frank M. Johnson Jr. on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. From 1990-97, she was a federal prosecutor in Chicago and Milwaukee before working as a solo criminal defense practitioner for eight years. 

In 2005, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals appointed Pepper to the bankruptcy court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin; she served as chief judge of that court from 2010-14.

Judge Pepper holds a graduate certificate in dispute resolution from Marquette University and is a former adjunct professor at Marquette Law School. 

Currently, she serves on the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts’ IT Security Awareness Working Group, the Seventh Circuit Judicial Council and the Federal Judges’ Association board of directors. She frequently speaks at Federal Judicial Center programs, including orientation programs for new bankruptcy and district court judges. She has also spoken at bar associations across the country on topics including the rules of evidence, the intersection of criminal and bankruptcy law, and litigation skills. 

The Law School will livestream the ceremony on YouTube

Submitted by Law School News on April 22, 2024

This article appears in the categories: Features