The Honorable Irma Poole Asberry, '79 (JD), and Robert S. Brewer, '75 (JD), received the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award, the law school's highest honor. The award is given to those who "embody the high ethical standards and commitment to community service USD School of Law seeks to instill in its graduates."
Asberry was appointed to the Riverside County Superior Court in 2007 by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and became the first African-American female judge to serve in Riverside County. Prior to her appointment to the bench, Asberry practiced family law with occasional work in juvenile, adoptions, guardianships and bankruptcy. She worked for Butterwick, Bright, Pettis & Cunnison from 1980 until opening her own law office in 1988.
After college, Brewer was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army and soon became a company commander in the 8th Infantry Division. He served in Vietnam as an adviser to the Vietnamese Airborne Division and as an Operations Officer with MACSOG. Brewer was a prosecutor in Los Angeles for seven years, serving as a deputy district attorney and
assistant U.S. attorney/assistant chief of the Criminal Division. He co-founded Chapin & Brewer in 1987, served as the managing partner of the San Diego office of McKenna & Cuneo from 1991 to 2008, and was a partner at Jones Day from 2009 to 2014. A candidate to be the 2014 San Diego District Attorney, Brewer is of counsel at Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek.