Alumnus named International Lawyer of the Year

Posted October 25, 2013

Jim Gash ('89) recently received the 2013 International Lawyer of the Year Award. Now a professor of law at Pepperdine University, Gash was recognized by the International Law Section of the State Bar of California for his recent work on behalf of imprisoned juveniles in Uganda.

Gash received the award on Oct. 12 in San Jose, Calif.

In 2010, Gash learned about Ugandan young people, many of whom were imprisoned for crimes they did not commit, being held for up to two years in a remote prison until their trial dates. Although Gash had no formal training in criminal law, he and several current and former Pepperdine students began working with the Ugandan judiciary to reform the country's juvenile justice system and secure the young people's freedom. All but one of those young people have since been released.

Last year, Gash and his family relocated to Uganda for six months to further his work, and, in March 2013, he became the first American to argue a case in the Ugandan Court of Appeals (decision pending). In addition to his work with the judiciary, Gash has also provided legal counsel to numerous American families looking to adopt Ugandan orphans.

Gash played football at ACU; he was a placekicker and quarterback who was named academic all-Lone Star Conference. He also was named to the GTE all-District VI academic team following the 1989 season, when he finished third in the LSC in kick scoring.

He is the third person to receive this award; the first was former U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher.


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