Honorary Degrees
1918 - Present

Herma Hill Kay 
Doctor of Laws  1992
Status: conferred

Herma Hill Kay graduated from SMU in 1956 and went on to do what at that time was an extraordinary thing: she enrolled in the University of Chicago Law School - one of the best in the country - at a time when most law schools had less than 5 percent women in their classes. She worked as a clerk to Chief Justice Traynor of the California Supreme Court and in 1960 became a member of the law faculty of the University of California at Berkeley. She is now the Richard W. Jennings Professor of Law and Dean of the Law School at Berkeley.

Professor Kay is the author of books on sex discrimination and on divorce reform and has been at the forefront in the debate and analysis of difficult issues in family law, such as the effects of no-fault divorce. She has made important contributions to the study of the conflict of laws and often has been asked by state and national law reform bodies for advice in drafting legislation on important family law issues. As president of the Association of American Law Schools, she spoke eloquently of the need to integrate women and minority members into the legal academic establishment.

For her career as distinguished academician and scholar and as a voice of reason and reform in the bewildering and often painful area of family law, SMU is pleased to confer upon Herma Hill Kay the degree Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.