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Holmes gives upbeat ‘Last Lecture’

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Dean of the College of Law Gilbert Holmes talks about how one should rethink the measures of success in “My Last Lecture,” Tuesday in the President’s Dining Room. Holmes said law students should not expect to pass the Bar exam the first time they take it, and if they do, that is not the only way to measure their skills as lawyers. Holmes said that his law school experience was made by his peers, not the academics and the institution itself. / photo by Tyler Evains

Arturo Gomez Molina
Arts Editor

University of La Verne College of Law Dean Gilbert Holmes gave his “Last Lecture” to 37 faculty members and students Tuesday in the President’s Dining Room.

Holmes, who joined the College of Law as dean in 2013, will retire at the end of the academic year. 

Holmes’ short lecture reflected on some of the challenges of his tenure as dean, including achieving American Bar Association accreditation. 

The College of Law earned ABA accreditation in 2016 after nearly 40 years of effort.

Accreditation is achieved by a law school after a three-year process of making sure it meets uniform standards with other law schools and their practices across the nation.

A student who graduates from an ABA accredited law school can take the bar exam in any state. 

Despite his momentous achievement, Holmes said ABA accreditation is not the only thing that matters for the College of Law. 

“It is not about the rankings or whether we were ABA accredited or not. It never has been,” Holmes said. “It is about the education and experience that the students receive with us.” 

Holmes advocated for the University to include the College of Law in decision making and activities that affect the entire University community. 

“Do not forget about us,” he said. “It is easy to say, ‘I can’t do it’ instead of saying, ‘How do we get this done.’” 

These and other tidbits of Holmes’ wisdom were well received. 

“He has given us hope for our students in the future and that they will set their own goals of success,” Professor of Humanities Al Clark said.

Charles Doskow, College of Law dean emeritus, added: “He made it clear that it is not only about passing the bar exam, it is about succeeding at your own pace and continuing to learn after law school.” 

Arturo Gomez Molina can be reached at arturo.gomezmolina@laverne.edu.

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