American Bar Association President to Speak at Law School Graduation

The American Bar Association President Bob Carlson will serve as the keynote speaker at the commencement ceremony for University of Montana’s Blewett School of Law on Saturday, May 11. The event will take place at 10 a.m. in the Dennison Theatre.

Bob Carlson, who earned his bachelor’s degree from UM in 1976 and a Juris Doctor in 1979, began his term as ABA president on Aug. 6, 2018. Hon. Leslie Halligan (J.D. '86) of Missoula administered the oath at a ceremony in Chicago.

Carlson will lead the organization of more than 400,000 members until August of this year. The ABA is the world’s largest voluntary professional organization.

Carlson, a Butte resident and shareholder with Corette Black Carlson & Mickelson P.C., is Montana’s second president of the national organization – more than six decades after the first Montanan held the position. William J. Jameson, a U.S federal judge under President Dwight Eisenhower and a member of the Montana House of Representatives, served as Montana’s first ABA president from 1953 to 1954.

“Bob represents the hard work, humility, and service that characterize the legal community of this state,” said Paul Kirgis, dean of the law school. “In his term as ABA president, he gives voice to the large majority of American lawyers who serve the legal needs of ordinary citizens. Bob is already a tireless volunteer for the law school, the State Bar of Montana and ABA, and we are honored that he is delivering our keynote address at our graduation ceremony this year.”

In addition to the keynote address, the law school’s commencement ceremony will include announcements of student awards, a student speaker address, a reading of graduates’ names and the hooding of J.D. candidates from the class of 2019. The ceremony will be live-streamed by Missoula Community Access Television.

ABA President BobCarlson
Bob Carlson is serving as president of the
American Bar Association for the 2018-2019 term.


Bob Carlson giving remarks at the 2013 Law School graduation ceremony
Bob Carlson (J.D. '79) gave introductory remarks at the
University of Montana School of Law Graduation Ceremony in 2013.