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Cooley Law holds spring commencement

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Cooley Law graduates

Graduates of Cooley Law School’s Tampa Bay campus were honored during a commencement ceremony at its Campus Auditorium on April 19. “Good lawyers prepare their cases – you must be prepared. If you’re not prepared, your client is going to see it – your opponent is going to see that,” 10th Circuit Judge Jalal A. Harb advised the graduates in his keynote address. “If you’re in a jury trial, the jury is going to see that. And if you are before the court, the judge is going to see that. Do your research.” 

Graduates of Cooley Law School’s Tampa Bay campus were honored during a commencement ceremony at its campus auditorium on April 19.

Twenty-seven juris doctor degrees and master of laws degrees were presented to members of Cooley Law School’s Justice Antonin Scalia class.

Chosen by their peers, Vivian Katwaroo and Ahmad Saifi gave the class farewell remarks. Tenth Circuit Judge Jalal A. Harb delivered the keynote speech.

“Today, as we stand on the brink of a new chapter in our lives, let us embrace the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead with determination and enthusiasm,” Katwaroo said. “Let us treasure this moment, celebrate our achievements, and look forward to the limitless possibilities that await us. This may be the end of our law school experience as students, but this is not the end of our journey to becoming excellent legal professionals. There is no doubt that each and every one of you will greatly impact and make our marks on the legal field no matter where our careers take us.”

Saifi said, “Many of us have aspirations that allowed us to go to law school. Whether it be the change in the system, defending your religion or race, and/or being the voice of those who want to be heard, I implore you to never lose track of that because that’s what separates a good lawyer from an amazing lawyer. The job isn’t done, it’s just getting started.”

In his keynote address, Judge Harb spoke on his own experience at Cooley Law School, sharing how Cooley taught him to be prepared, transparent, and disclose to instructors if you’re not ready for assignments. He also explained that lawyers must be prepared, be civil and profession, and maintain integrity.

“Good lawyers prepare their cases – you must be prepared. If you’re not prepared, your client is going to see it – your opponent is going to see that. If you’re in a jury trial, the jury is going to see that. And if you are before the court, the judge is going to see that. Do your research,” Harb advised the graduates. “Dear graduates, you have made a significant accomplishment. We are proud of you. Go out there and make your family and friends proud. Go out there and make Cooley proud. Dear graduates, I hope to see you in court.”

Each Cooley Law School class is named for a distinguished member of the legal profession. The commencement ceremony for Cooley’s spring graduating class honors U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Antonin Scalia, who graduated valedictorian three times (high school, Georgetown University, and Harvard Law School), worked as a commercial law attorney for six years before becoming an administrative law professor at the University of Virginia in 1967. Four years later, he was appointed as general counsel for the Office of Telecommunications Policy by President Richard Nixon, where he served as chairman for the U.S. Administration Conference from 1972-1974. Nixon then nominated Scalia for assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel. Following Nixon’s resignation, President Gerald Ford sustained the nomination and Scalia was confirmed by Senate vote in August 1974. Three years later, Scalia returned to teaching and joined the faculty at University of Chicago Law School. He taught at Chicago until 1982 when President Ronald Reagan nominated him for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, where he served from 1982-1986. Scalia joined the U.S. Supreme Court on Sept. 26, 1986, filling a vacancy left by Justice William Rehnquist, and served for 30 years.

 

 

Photo 1: Graduates of Cooley Law School’s Tampa Bay campus were honored during a commencement ceremony at its Campus Auditorium on April 19. Pictured from left to right: Cooley President and Dean James McGrath, Ahmad Saifi of Cooley’s Antonin Scalia class, Cooley Professor Christine Church, Vivian Katwaroo of Cooley’s Antonin Scalia class, and the Hon. Jalal A. Harb of Florida’s 10th Judicial Court.

 

Photo 2: : Graduates of Cooley Law School’s Tampa Bay campus were honored during a commencement ceremony at its Campus Auditorium on April 19.

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