Former federal Judge Samuel Alba to be recognized with an Honorary Doctorate Degree by Utah State University

Snow, Christensen & Martineau congratulates its colleague, shareholder and friend for being one of four prominent individuals to receive an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Utah State University during its graduation ceremony on May 4, 2013.

Sam will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo this year with his family and friends in a very unique way in Logan, Utah, where his parents had only dreamt of seeing one of their children graduate from college. Utah State University is the place where Sam earned a degree in English, History, and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science.

Sam has a special story about his days in Preston High School and his election as the first Hispanic in the history of the school to win class president. It is believed that Sam is the inspiration behind the character “Pedro” in the popular film Napoleon Dynamite (2004). Sam’s life exemplifies a true trailblazer. He was the first Hispanic to hold a position in the state and federal courts of Utah and is now the first Hispanic from Utah to receive the honorary doctorate degree from USU. USU President Stan L. Albrecht said honorary degrees are one of the most important ways the university has to recognize people for the commitment and sacrifices they have made to make positive changes in the world. “All of these individuals have made their marks in a number of ways and in a number of fields, but all of them deserve honor for their passion and determination to serve others,” he said.

Utah State University alum Samuel Alba is now a shareholder at Snow, Christensen & Martineau in Salt Lake City. He served as a U. S. Magistrate Judge from 1992 until 2012. Prior to that, he practiced at Prince Yeates & Geldzahler after working with the United States Attorneys’ Office in Salt Lake City. He began his legal career working with the Federal Public Defender’s office in Phoenix, Arizona. Sam graduated in 1969 from Utah State University and received his Juris Doctorate from Arizona State University Law School in 1972.