On June 1, Brooklyn Law School held its 111th commencement ceremony at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center. Stuart Subotnick ’68, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, conferred degrees to 471 students before an audience of family, friends, faculty, staff, and alumni of the Brooklyn Law School community.
Class valedictorian Justin Loughran Sowa ’12 opened his remarks by reminding his classmates about the honorable profession they had all chosen. “Brooklyn Law School taught us about law and justice and gave us awareness,” he said. “We now go forth, individually deciding what to do with this knowledge, knowing that our education has given us tools to contribute positively to the world.”
The Honorable Carol Bagley Amon, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, delivered the commencement address. Amon stressed that their law degree affords them with a tremendous opportunity to make a difference in others’ lives. “You are a generation of doers and the world needs your creativity, fresh new ideas, and entrepreneurial spirit,” she said. She encouraged the graduates to stay connected to the friends they made at the Law School and to value their law degree as an asset “even in non-traditional fields.” At a time when the legal profession is facing difficulty, she encouraged them to be proud of the field in which they had chosen to practice.
Chairman Subotnick awarded Judge Amon with an honorary Juris Doctorate, the Law School’s highest degree. Amon has taught a seminar at the Law School on federal sentencing, and continues to preside at the annual orientation program for students who will serve as law clerks and judicial interns after graduation.
Before closing his remarks to the graduating class, Interim Dean Michael Gerber thanked the faculty for their commitment to teaching and acknowledged the strength of the Law School’s curriculum. He also paid tribute to President Joan Wexler for her sixteen years of service, saying, “We thank Joan for her service as the President of our school and her around-the-clock dedication to the members of our community. Her stewardship has moved us all forward.”
This year’s ceremony included five graduates who received an LL.M. Degree. “Knowing that I am part of the inaugural LL.M. class in a law school with more than 100 years of history, and that from its earliest days opened its door to minorities, women, and immigrants made it that more memorable,” said Diana Chavez ’12.
View video and photos of the ceremony.