Idaho's College of Law Marks Commencement, Achievements of 84 Graduates

Thursday, May 6 2010

Written by Tania Thompson

MOSCOW, Idaho – Nancy Morris, the nation's first woman secretary of the Securities and Exchange Commission, will give the commencement address for the University of Idaho's College of Law commencement.

The College of Law, the university's only Advanced Professional degree program, will hold its graduation and celebration on Saturday, May 15, beginning at 3 p.m., in the ASUI-Kibbie Activity Center, 1000 Stadium Way in Moscow. Eighty-four juris doctor candidates are eligible to graduate. For those unable to attend in person, the ceremony can be viewed as a live webcast:

Nancy Morris is currently executive vice president at Allianz Global Investors of America, where she serves as chief U.S. regulatory counsel. Morris also has achieved great distinction through her leadership and service in the public sector at the Securities and Exchange Commission. Morris held the position of SEC secretary from 2006-08, the first woman to hold the post. She oversaw the final legal review of all SEC rulemaking and enforcement actions submitted to and approved by the commission. She held previous appointments at the SEC from 1985-92 and again from 2004-06. Morris also worked in the private sector as vice president and associate legal counsel to the investment management firm T. Rowe Price Associates, and as an attorney for Fidelity Investments. She earned her law degree at Idaho in 1983 and was editor-in-chief of the Idaho Law Review. She currently serves on the College of Law Advisory Board, and received the Award of Merit from the law faculty in 2006. Earlier in the day, Morris will be recognized for her recent induction into the University of Idaho's Alumni Hall of Fame.

The College of Law also will honor Lewiston attorney Michael E. McNichols '63 with the Faculty Award of Legal Merit. This award recognizes an Idaho law graduate whose career exemplifies the best in the legal profession based on demonstrated standards of integrity, competence, service and leadership through work as a legal practitioner, service to the legal profession or service to the community.

McNichols is a managing partner of Clements, Brown & McNichols, P.A., in Lewiston, Idaho. He earned his bachelor of arts degree in 1960 from the University of Idaho and his juris doctor from Idaho three years later.

Named 2005 Distinguished Lawyer by the Idaho State Bar, McNichols has served the Bar with distinction in numerous capacities, including as Bar commissioner and president, and was a founding member of the Idaho Law Foundation. He is a life fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a fellow and Idaho state chair in the American College of Trial Lawyers, past president of the Idaho Association of Defense Counsel, and a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel. He has served as a lawyer delegate to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Conference and two terms as a member of the Idaho Judicial Council.

A Lewiston native, McNichols has served his community as community director of the Lewis-Clark State College Foundation, president of the Orofino Chamber of Commerce, and president of the North Idaho Chamber of Commerce. He also is a lifelong supporter of his alma mater and has served as a member of the college’s Law Advisory Council. And hundreds of Idaho law alumni and students know him best for one of his favorite volunteer activities: being a judge for the college’s Moot Court, which is named after his father, federal judge Raymond C. McNichols.

A reception will follow the ceremony at the ASUI-Kibbie Activity Center. More information about the College of Law commencement is available online at

Serving Idaho since 1909, the College of Law has been recognized nationally for its distinctive programs, including its clinical legal education, pro bono service and diversity initiatives. The college offers cross-disciplinary fields of study in environmental and natural resources law, business law and entrepreneurship, advocacy and dispute resolution, and Native American law. For more information about the College of Law and its legacy, visit

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About the University of Idaho

Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s flagship higher-education institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year; the University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation ranking for high research activity. The university’s student population includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars. Offering more than 130 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. The university is home to the Vandals, the 2009 Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl champions. For information, visit

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit