School of Law to feature retired chief justice

School of Law to feature retired chief justice
The University of South Dakota School of Law will host the Hon. Joseph F. Baca, retired chief justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court on Sept. 21-22, as guest of the Jurist-in-Residence Program.

Baca is scheduled to speak at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 21, in USD's law school courtroom. The program, "Why Being a Judge is one of the Two Best Jobs in the World," is free and open to the public and students are encouraged to attend.

During his visit, Baca will meet with law students at USD and sit in on classroom discussions. At noon on Friday, Sept. 22, Baca will meet with invited high school students in the law school courtroom and talk about the reasons why he wanted to become a lawyer.

Baca currently lives in Albuquerque, NM, and has served on the New Mexico Supreme Court for the past 13 years. He was a six-year member of the Accreditation Committee of the American Bar Association's (ABA) Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, and also served on the ABA Task Force on Opportunities for Minorities in Law Schools and Opportunities for Minorities in the Judiciary.

He is a member of the executive committee of the Appellate Judges Conference of the Judicial Division of the ABA and has received numerous awards, including the J. William Fulbright Award for Distinguished Public Service from the George Washington University Law School and the Outstanding Judicial Service Award from the New Mexico Bar Association. Baca has also been named twice as one of the "100 Most Influential Hispanics" in America by Hispanic Business magazine.

The Marion R. Smyser Jurist-in-Residence Program at The University of South Dakota School of Law was established by a gift from George L. Hirschbach, a 1972 graduate, to honor his teacher. Hirschbach is the Cedar County attorney in Hartington, NE.

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