It's time for a rousing cheer to welcome the Arizona Law Class of 2017 as they join your alumni ranks.
On Saturday, May 13, 132 new JDs, 6 SJDs, 25 MLSs, and 10 LLMs were called to the stage of Centennial Hall, where our faculty proudly bestowed degrees upon our newest graduates.
Join us in celebrating all that these new lawyers and legal professionals have accomplished during their time as students.
We know they have great things in store.

2017 College of Law Convocation

Convocation speaker Arizona Supreme Court Justice John R. Lopez IV urged the James E. Rogers College of Law Class of 2017:
"Remain moored to your communities -- connected with your neighbors -- and carry out your roles in the legal system with respect for the dignity of your fellow citizens and, at all times, with humility."
Whether you graduated this year, or ten, twenty, or fifty years ago, the worthy goals of community, shared dignity, and humility can continue to inspire us as a community of Arizona Law alumni and as lawyers.



"What is virtually certain for most of you is that your path will take you places you never imagined. And that is a good thing. It is one of the greatest gifts of a law degree.  ...  Cherish this gift and enjoy the journey." 

-- Justice John Lopez

"Students ... at this law college are introduced early to the idea that the law is more than just a job or even a career. It is an opportunity to serve. You have shown this service through your volunteer efforts, your efforts in clinics, your class gift. I am ... encouraged and inspired by your commitment not only to do well, but to do good." 

-- Judge Sarah ("Sally") Simmons, 2017 honorary degree recipient

"Whether we're clerking for a judge, working for the Office of Children's Counsel, advocating for immigrant and refugee rights, representing criminal defendants, or selling out for big law, we all recognize the privilege of being able to give to others.
So today, as we finish our time together at U of A, we don't just graduate -- we graduate to serve. Please join us in congratulating our classmates on helping us all live up to Arizona Law's standard of service." 

-- 2017 Class Gift chairs, Jillian Andrews and Storm Byrd

"No one can take dignity from you, but it is easily surrendered. When you encounter incivility in its many forms, rise above it.  When you experience soaring triumphs, celebrate them with grace. When you experience defeat and disappointment, maintain your dignity.  ... Your reaction to disappointment often reveals your true character most vividly." 

-- Justice John Lopez


 Bear Down!
Graduate Awards Ceremony
On Friday afternoon, prior to convocation, I had the pleasure of presenting awards to recognize the distinctive achievements and contributions of several of our new graduates at a standing-room-only ceremony in the Daniel J. Cracchiolo Law Library.

Recognition goes to the following 2017 graduates:

Deconcini, McDonald, Yetwin & Lacy Academic Achievement Award, presented by Lisa Anne Smith ~  Margo Casselman
S. Thomas Chandler Public Service Award, p resented by the Hon. Terry Chandler ~  Chelsea Padilla-Frankel
Hon. Earl H. Carroll Public Service Awardpresented by the Hon. Terry Chandler ~   Nadezhda Andreeva, Armend Hetemi
Munger Prize for Scholars in International and Business Law, p resented by David Ruiz ~  Hossein Mirsadri, Andrew Shepherd
American Bankruptcy Institute Medal of ExcellenceHannah Willett
Ralph W. Aigler Memorial Award  Lindsey Huang, Slade Smith
ALI-CLE Scholarship and Leadership AwardAmanda Weaver
William T. Birmingham Trial Advocacy AwardElizabeth Smiley
Dannie Lee Chandler Memorial Award  John Howard, LeAnn Jones
Thomas Clark Civility in Litigation AwardMario Gonzalez
Rose Davis Public Service Award ~  Anna Hohag, Joshua Sparling

Dean's Achievement Award for Community EngagementDerek Abeyta, Esperanza Franco
Dean's Achievement Award for LeadershipEsther Sanchez, Storm Byrd
Roger C. Henderson Distinguished Graduating Senior AwardJillian Andrews
Jim Himelic AwardBryce Clark
Junius Hoffman "Beyond The JD" Award Jordan Hartman
Law College Association Scholastic Merit AwardJason Buckner, Andrea Logue, Audrey Roberts
Law College Association Service AwardKatherine Herriot, Janet Howe, Wes Stiner
Joseph M. Livermore Service AwardSean McNally
Ralph E. Long Memorial AwardBrett Gilmore
Darrow K. Soll Memorial AwardPer Leroy
Andrew Silverman Community Service AwardAutumn Kycia

At graduation we launched another great class with justifiable joy and pride. 

This is part of a comforting and rewarding cycle of professional education, a cycle our college has followed for 103 years.
But our graduates head out into times that are not comforting.  In my brief comments at our graduation ceremony I reflected on the respect, support, and community demonstrated by this graduating class, and described by them in myriad ways.  This community crossed all the conventional lines and barriers that divide us in our larger society. I then noted:
I've thought a lot about that last part ... the lines that divide us.  I've searched for the right way to describe our increasingly noisy and fractious environment, hoping to impart some special insight to you as you head into a wider, bigger world.
It is interesting out there, beyond our halls, especially if you have been trained in the law. In this time and in this place, lawyers really matter.
No matter where you stand on the issues, it's the lawyers who are hammering out policies and lawyers who are challenging those policies -- daily it seems -- and lawyers who are defending those policies.
Lawyer jokes now seem so 2016 -- instead, people are calling for lawyers.
Whether it is lawyers working pro bono on behalf of immigrants affected by the President's travel ban, or those working to change our national health care policy, there are fierce battles taking place -- and you are poised to join the fray.
Your legal education qualifies you -- in a very exceptional and rare way -- to step up to the challenges of our time.  It enables you to champion the rule of law -- the mechanism by which conflict is best resolved.
Hard as it may be to fully comprehend, you are now the standard-bearers for the rule of law. Your skills and your accomplishments make you more powerful players in solving the world's most pressing problems.
It is our greatest and most honorable tradition to create and sustain the institutions and processes that reflect our society's commitment to peaceful and orderly progress -- not merely by accepting the status quo, but by challenging it ... by improving it.


Shaping the next century of legal education 
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