The University of California Hastings College of the Law 2018 Commencement Ceremony will take place Saturday, May 12, 2018 in the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. We are pleased to announce that champion for justice Joe Cotchett, UC Hastings Class of 1964, will present the keynote speech.
“I am honored to announce that UC Hastings Alumnus, Joseph Cotchett, will be the keynote speaker for our 2018 Commencement Ceremony,” says UC Hastings Chancellor & Dean David L. Faigman. “As the bio below describes, Joe Cotchett is one of the most honored lawyers in the United States. He is a dynamic speaker and will be a phenomenal addition to our commencement exercises. He is also a loyal alumnus and generous supporter of the school, having served on numerous Hastings committees and boards over the years. We are privileged to have him join us on Saturday for the celebration of our graduates’ accomplishments.”
“It is an honor to welcome the 2018 Hastings graduates to the legal profession," says Cotchett. "But know this: Becoming a lawyer is not a means to an end – it does not make you special. But becoming a lawyer is special, because it gives you the means – the tools and the abilities – to make a difference in peoples’ lives. Use your legal education for a higher purpose.”
Joseph W. Cotchett has a legendary reputation for his courtroom accomplishments and is considered one of the country’s foremost trial lawyers by both plaintiff and defense attorneys. Legal publications have called him one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America. He is the senior partner at Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy and has dedicated much of his legal career to public justice with a prolific history of pro bono work. He has tried over 100 jury trials, including some of the largest antitrust, securities and environmental cases in the country, including a 3.8 billion dollar jury verdict for 23,000 senior citizens in the Savings & Loan crisis.
For his undergraduate studies, Cotchett studied an unlikely major for a future famous trial lawyer: he received a B.S. in Engineering from San Luis Obispo. After graduating from Cal Poly in 1960, with the honor of Outstanding Graduate under his belt, Cotchett changed the course of his career and studied law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law, earning his J.D. in 1964.
Cotchett joined the army before furthering his legal career, serving in the U.S. Army Intelligence Corps. Cotchett also became a Special Forces Paratrooper and JAG Corps Officer and retired from the active reserves in 1991; nevertheless, he still participates and supports the army. From 2001 to 2005, Cotchett served on the Army War College Foundation’s board of directors, which directly supports collegiate army education and graduate studies.
For more biographical information, please visit the Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy website.
We are happy to announce that UC Hastings 137th Commencement will be at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium (99 Grove Street) on Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 3:00 pm. Graduates must arrive no later than 2:15 pm, and admission to the UC Hastings commencement ceremony is by ticket only. A limited number of tickets are provided free of charge to each graduate participating in the ceremony.
The official UC Hastings 2018 Commencement hashtag is #UCH2018.
More about the 2018 Commencement here.
Alex A.G. Shapiro
Director, External Relations
UC Hastings | San Francisco
Office: (415) 581-8842
Cell: (415) 813-9214