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Class of 2012 Celebrates Graduation

May 22, 2012

Hundreds gathered in St. Ignatius Church May 19 to watch the USF School of Law Class of 2012 graduate. About 220 graduates received Juris Doctor degrees, six received JD/MBA degrees, 14 received LLM in International Transactions and Comparative Law degrees, and four received LLM in Intellectual Property and Technology Law degrees.

Janelle Hayes (left) and Leslie Fales at the May 19 graduation ceremony.

“The law school takes pride in a century of graduates who have made a difference in the lives of countless people in a sometimes troubled world,” Dean Jeffrey Brand. “In that time the USF tradition has been forged—smart, skilled, engaged, and ethical lawyers. Now the Class of 2012 joins those legions to carry on a tradition in which we take so much pride.”

The law school bestowed an honorary degree upon California Supreme Court Associate Justice Goodwin Hon Liu. Liu previously clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and the U.S. Supreme Court, practiced law in Washington, D.C., and served as professor and associate dean at UC Berkeley School of Law. Before law school, Liu helped launch the AmeriCorps National Service Program and served as a senior program officer at the Corporation for National Service. He earned his bachelor’s at Stanford University, a master’s in philosophy and physiology at Oxford University, and a Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School.

“For most of you, today will be the last time you walk across a stage to receive a diploma. In choosing law, you have chosen a profession devoted to reason and intellect. You have learned to think complex things. You have learned to argue all sides of an issue. You have learned to be careful and to doubt,” Associate Justice Liu said. “But as you use the complexity, versatility, and flexibility of mind that you have learned here, don't forget who you are. Don't forget why you came here in the first place. Have courage. Do your duty. Seek justice. If you can do those things, I have no doubt you will find your way.”

Robin Lagorio was presented the Academic Excellence Award and Liat Blum earned the Pursuit of Justice Award. Graduating student David Rubin delivered remarks on behalf of the Class of 2012.

“Look around this room—look at your classmates and friends. Think about what they mean to you today and what they have meant to you over the last few years. And think about what we’ve been able to contribute,” Rubin said. “These relationships, these friendships, these people, and these accomplishments are so much more than just a means to an end.”

Class of 2012 graduates celebrate at the Alumni Graduates Dinner.

At the 2012 Alumni Graduates Dinner on May 16, Cherisse Cleofe was bestowed the Student Bar Association Award. David Greene received the Honorable Ira A. Brown Jr. Distinguished Adjunct Professor Award and Herbst Foundation Professor of Law Julie Nice received the Distinguished Professor Award.

“There may be a crisis in the transformation of the legal market but there is still a huge, huge amount of unmet legal need. The reason being a lawyer is an honorable profession is because we help people solve problems and that is not going to change,” Nice said. “Just small positive steps everyday make enormous changes.”

The Alumni Graduates Dinner was supported by event benefactor Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery; event patrons Hanson Bridgett LLP, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, and Miller, Sabino & Lee, Inc., Legal Placement Services; and event sponsors Lindbergh Porter Jr. ’81, Murphy Pearson Bradley & Feeney, Sedgwick LLP, and Trombadore Gonden Law Group LLP.