Honoring Excellence: Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya Swears in AUWCL Clinic Students

Celebrating Achievement and Inspiring Future Attorneys 

Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya with Clinical Program students, staff, and faculty.

Students in the clinical program at American University Washington College of Law participated in a momentous milestone event in the journey—their swearing-in ceremony.

The event symbolizes the commencement of a new chapter for clinic students as they embark on the path to becoming student attorneys.  The highlight of the occasion was being sworn in by the Honorable Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya, a United States Magistrate Judge who serves on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Judge Upadhyaya holds a unique position as both an esteemed legal figure and an alumna of American University Washington College of Law, having also been a clinic participant herself. Her remarkable journey, from her days as a student at AUWCL to her current role as a federal magistrate judge, stands as a testament to the extraordinary accomplishments that our graduates can achieve.

Judge Upadhyaya inspires clinical program students.

"It [clinical program] was, to me, the single most formative experience of my law school career," Judge Upadhyaya said. "I believe that being able to start representing clients and learning about that part of being a lawyer and learning about oneself through the process is critical."

When asked for advice to offer students who may find themselves grappling with feelings of discouragement, overwhelm, or self-doubt, Judge Upadhyaya provided a valuable perspective.

Clinic students being sworn in

"Every single lawyer has felt that way," she said. "You gaining that confidence, pulling yourself together and sticking with it, is critical not only to your growth but also to someone else's life. They're depending on you and you really are making a difference whether it feels like that day to day or not."

The swearing-in ceremony was a significant event in the journey of clinic students, marking the commencement of their path toward becoming dedicated and capable student attorneys. Judge Upadhyaya's presence and words of wisdom added a profound layer of inspiration and encouragement to the occasion, reinforcing the importance of determination, resilience, and the pursuit of excellence in the legal profession.

Story by Keith Pierce. Photos by Brice Helms.

***See more photos here.