Press Releases Jun 19, 2017

Arthur Littleworth Receives Honorary Doctor of Law Degree from La Sierra University

BB&K Partner Recognized for Contributions to Riverside School Integration

19225598_web-(1).jpgPreeminent water law attorney Arthur L. Littleworth was unable to attend his own graduations from Yale and Stanford universities, but on June 18 at age 94, he participated in his first commencement ceremony since high school and received a degree from La Sierra University.
Littleworth, a partner with Riverside firm Best Best & Krieger, is renowned as an authority on water law matters. He is also known for his civic leadership, specifically in spearheading the Riverside Unified School District’s voluntary desegregation in 1965. Under his direction as school board president, the Riverside district became one of the first in the United States to integrate classrooms without the pressure of a court order.
During commencement, La Sierra University recognized Littleworth for his achievements with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
19224813_web1.jpgLittleworth served on the Riverside school board from 1958 to 1972, the last 10 years as board president. In 1965, just weeks after the Watts riots in Los Angeles and in the face of protests from parents seeking school integration and equality, Littleworth worked closely with educators, school board members, Mexican-American and African-American parents and community leaders to peacefully integrate the District’s elementary schools. In 2014, he published a memoir detailing his experiences titled “No Easy Way: Integrating Riverside Schools – A Victory for Community.”
A native of Los Angeles, Littleworth earned a bachelor’s degree in American history on full scholarship from Yale University. During his undergraduate schooling, World War II broke out and he received his diploma in the mail while serving in the United States Navy. After the war, he returned home to earn a master’s degree in American history from Stanford University. Due to family issues, he was unable to attend his graduation. He then earned his law degree from Yale Law School in 1950, but did not walk in commencement, as he needed to participate in a bar review course in California.
19225241_web.jpgLittleworth joined BB&K in 1955. In more than 40 years of legal practice, Littleworth has participated in all aspects of water law, including transactional and litigation matters. He is co-author of the book “California Water,” which is widely regarded as the definitive text on historical, legal and policy issues regarding use of water in California. His numerous awards include being named among the Top 100 Lawyers in California by the Los Angeles Daily Journal in 2003.
For La Sierra University’s honorary degree ceremony, Littleworth wore a judicial robe he wore as a special master for the United States Supreme Court, a designation granted him as an authority on water law in 1987 to help decide a decades-old states water rights case involving the Arkansas River.
From a press release issued by La Sierra University. Photos courtesy of La Sierra.

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