Law School Commencement on Saturday

U.S. District Judge Kristine Gerhard Baker
Photo Submitted

U.S. District Judge Kristine Gerhard Baker

The University of Arkansas School of Law commencement ceremony will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 20, at the Fayetteville Town Center on the downtown Fayetteville Square. Awards ceremonies will be today at 5 p.m. in the E.J. Ball Courtroom.

The speaker at the commencement will be the Hon. Kristine Gerhard Baker. She was sworn in as a U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas on May 21, 2012.

She was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and is a charter-class graduate of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora, Illinois. She received two Bachelor of Arts degrees, summa cum laude, in 1993 from Saint Louis University and a Juris Doctor, with High Honors, in 1996 from the University of Arkansas School of Law.

She began her legal career by serving as a law clerk for then-Chief U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas Susan Webber Wright from 1996-98. Baker entered private practice and focused on commercial litigation until taking the bench.

Prior to taking the bench, Baker served on the boards of and as a volunteer for many community and legal organizations. She served as an appointed member of the Arkansas Supreme Court’s Model Civil Jury Instructions Committee, as a board member and fellow of the Arkansas Bar Foundation and as a member and board member of the Pulaski County Bar Association.

She married her husband, John Baker, a Little Rock native and fellow lawyer, in December of 1994 between law school semesters. They have four children and reside in Little Rock.

Schedule of Events


The School of Law will hold its Awards Ceremony at 5 p.m. today, May 19, in the E.J. Ball Courtroom. Family members and guests are encouraged to attend.

Afterward, a Graduate Family Reception will be held at 6 p.m. in the Richard B. Atkinson Memorial Courtyard and the Norma Lea Beasley Entrance Hall (rain or shine). Again, family members and guests are encouraged to attend.

SATURDAY, MAY 20                                                                      

  • The ceremony will start promptly at 2 p.m. Graduating law students should arrive no later than 1 p.m.
  • All guests please enter through the north entrance
  • Speaker: Kristine Gerhard Baker ’96, U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas.
  • 126 students are expected to attend.
  • Live streaming

Find out more about the School of Law Commencement.

The School of Law Class of 2017 group photo taken during its orientation in August 2014.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.


Darinda Sharp, director of communications
School of Law


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