WashULaw Celebrates Commencement 2018 With Graduates And Guests

Two days of Recognition and Awards Ceremonies honored the Class of 2018, their contributions and exemplary achievements.

JD Class

JD Class

Graduate Programs Class

Graduate Programs Class

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Graduates of WashULaw and their families rose above rainy conditions to celebrate Commencement Ceremonies on Friday, May 18.

Showing resiliency and the ability to change on the fly, they gathered inside Crowder Courtyard for official portraits because of a downpour, then donned rain gear for Washington University Ceremony in the Brookings Quadrangle. Graduates from all schools listened to the Commencement Address by Anna-Marie Slaughter, former official at the U.S. State Department and author of “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” in The AtlanticJohn Drobak, the George Alexander Madill Professor of Real Property & Equity Jurisprudence, served as the university’s Grand Marshal.

The WashULaw Recognition Ceremony followed with a procession into the Varsity Gym at the Athletics Complex. Vice Dean Rebecca Hollander-Blumoff served as Grand Marshal of the Law School. Class Marshals were Meire Erica Herreira, LLM ’18; Karen Marie Hinkley, JD ’18; James Patrick Mansfield III, JD ’18; and Samuel Henry Lemberg, JD ’18.

Dean Nancy Staudt, the Howard & Caroline Cayne Distinguished Professor of Law, delivered Remarks to the Graduates.

“Many of us − many of you − will take enormous risks making our world a better place. This is our tradition, and this is what we expect of you,” Staudt said. “I hope that you will look far and wide for the inspiration that you need to be great, for the inspiration you need to leave your safe harbor and to advance your vision.”

During her speech, Staudt recognized Ann Davis Shields as the David M. Becker Professor of the Year, and David Rosen, JD ’75, as the Adjunct Professor of the Year.

Hollander-Blumoff spoke as the Voice of the Faculty, offering the graduates light-hearted but heart-felt lessons of life inspired by civil procedure. Among them was her favorite Federal Rule of Civil Procedure, Rule 2, covering civil actions. “There is one way to act, and it’s to be civil to other people,” she said. “Even in our legal system, built, as it is, on an adversary structure, there is always room to be civil in tone and in deed.”

She also provided a fresh take on due process, equating it with empathy and seizing the moment, and drew parallels between having the right people involved in a case and having the right friends and family in your life. She closed by reminding the graduates that they would make mistakes but that Rules 60 and 61 state that some mistakes are harmless while others are fixable.

“Don’t let fear of getting something wrong stop you from working your hardest to get things right,” she said.

Sarah Elizabeth Carthen Watson, JD ’18, and Ferreira also offered words of gratitude and inspiration as the Student Speakers. Elizabeth P. Walsh, associate dean for student services, and Peter K. Cramer, assistant dean of Graduate & International Programs, read the names for the presentation of diplomas. The school conferred more than 400 degrees on their JD, LLM, MLS, and JSD candidates.  All June 2017, August 2017, December 2017, and May 2018 law graduates were invited to participate in both the Washington University and WashULaw ceremonies.

The celebrations concluded with a reception for graduates, alumni, and guests in Anheuser-Busch Hall.

Earlier in the week, WashULaw celebrated at receptions for international and graduate students, graduating clinic students, Service Award winners, Academic Excellence Award winners, and the Dean’s Leadership honorees.