Rikki Klieman, who has earned a sterling reputation as one of the nation's most celebrated lawyers and legal authorities, will receive an honorary degree and deliver the keynote address at UMass Law's Commencement Exercises, UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Divina Grossman and UMass Law Dean Mary Lu Bilek announced today.
"We are very excited to have such an accomplished attorney and dynamic speaker in Rikki Klieman address the Class of 2015," said Chancellor Grossman. "Her background is so diverse and her success so widespread that her presence will provide a unique opportunity for our students to learn and be inspired. She is a true role model for aspiring lawyers committed to the pursuit of justice."
"Rikki Klieman is a star in and outside the courtroom," said Dean Bilek. "Part of our mission is to produce lawyers who are driven to make significant contributions to their communities and to the legal profession. Ms. Kliemann is the embodiment of that mission."
The UMass Law Commencement is scheduled for Monday, May 18 at 10 am in the Main Auditorium on the main campus at UMass Dartmouth.
Attorney Klieman is currently a CBS News Legal Analyst. She was an Anchor at the Courtroom Television Network from 1994-2010 and a Contributor for the CBS Early Show, the NBC Today Show as well as the E! Network. She has also appeared as a legal analyst on NBC's Nightly News, CBS Evening News, ABC, CNN, CNBC and MSNBC. In addition, Ms. Klieman continues to inspire others with her autobiography, "Fairy Tales Can Come True—How a Driven Woman Changed Her Destiny," which reached the L.A. Times Best Seller List.
She remains Of Counsel to the Boston, Massachusetts law firm of Klieman & Lyons, where she specialized in criminal trial and appellate practice as well as civil litigation. She received her J.D. from Boston University School of Law. Prior to her legal career, she was a theater major at Northwestern University who became a professional actress. Following law school, she served as a law clerk for the Honorable Walter Jay Skinner of the United States District Court of Massachusetts, and as a prosecutor with both the Middlesex and Norfolk County District Attorney's offices.
Rikki Klieman was named one of the five most outstanding women trial lawyers in the country by TIME magazine. She is often the subject of magazine and newspaper articles and was profiled by CNN. She has been interviewed on countless radio and television programs about various aspects of criminal and civil law and procedure, including, among others, "60 minutes," "20/20", "The McLaughlin Group" and a "Nightline Special Report" on rape hosted by the late Peter Jennings.
UMass Law, located at UMass Dartmouth, is the only public law school in Massachusetts. The law school was established in 2010 to provide a high quality, affordable legal education focused on creating justice-centered lawyers. UMass Law is especially committed to increasing the diversity of those who practice law in the Commonwealth and encouraging students to become professionally engaged in their community through pro bono service, clinics, and internships while they study.