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Superior Court's first Muslim-American judge, Halim Dhanidina, to be Interfaith Baccalaureate speaker

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Honorable Photo of Halim DhanidinaHalim Dhanidina, the first Muslim-American to be appointed to the Superior Court in California (May 2012) and a Pomona College graduate (1994), will serve as the featured speaker at this year’s Interfaith Baccalaureate Service. The service will be held on Friday, May 17, at 3:30 pm in the Garrison Theater of The Claremont Colleges on the campus of Scripps College.

The Interfaith Baccalaureate Service at The Claremont Colleges is the opening ceremony for graduation weekend and the one event that brings together students, faculty and staff, friends and family members from all seven of the Claremont Colleges. In addition to the address from Dhanidina, students representing diverse faith traditions and backgrounds will offer personal reflections both through spoken word and music. The event is organized by the Chaplains of The Claremont Colleges.

Dhanidina is currently assigned to hear criminal cases in the Long Beach Superior Court. Prior to his current position, Dhanidina was a deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County for 14 years, prosecuting cases for the elite Hardcore Gang and Major Crimes Divisions before serving in the District Attorney's Special Operations Administration. As an attorney, Judge Dhanidina served as a board member for the Asian Pacific American and South Asian Bar Associations where he developed and implemented programs to provide services to traditionally underserved communities.

As an adjunct professor of law at Whittier Law School, Dhanidina teaches criminal trial advocacy. He previously taught criminal law as an adjunct professor at the Glendale University College of Law from 2010-2012. He is also a member of the advisory board of the youth organization, Muslims and Jews Inspiring Change.

Dhanidina has been recognized for his work on behalf of crime victims by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and is a recipient of the South Asian Network’s Public Service Award.

Dhanidina earned a bachelor of arts degree in international relations from Pomona College, where he received the Senior Service Award. He received a law degree from the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law in 1997, which recently named him the Asian Pacific Islander Law Students Association’s Alumnus of the Year.

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