Saturday May 8, 2010

Graduation Day

The School of Law's Class of 2010 celebrated the culmination of their legal education.

The School of Law's Class of 2010 celebrated the culmination of their legal education with a commencement ceremony on May 8 at University of Dayton Arena.

Dean Lisa Kloppenberg praised the students for their hard work, dedication and classroom discipline.

"You have more than lived up to our high expectations," she told the graduates. "We have challenged you in the classroom, but we have also challenged you to see that your education must extend far beyond the classroom walls, that the practice of law involves a combination of head, hands and heart."

The Class of 2010 includes 49 students who received the School's Pro Bono Commitment to Community Award, which is given to individuals who contribute at least 50 hours of community service in law school. The class includes the largest number of Pro Bono Commitment recipients, who donated well over 8,000 hours of community service.

"Commitment to community is the hallmark of a true professional," Kloppenberg said. "I am deeply touched by the efforts of the Class of 2010 over the past three years to make a difference. You have worked hard; you have studied hard; and you have given so much to others. Whether it was serving lunch to a homeless individual, helping prepare a will for a police officer or firefighter, or assisting an attorney in a pro bono case, you have personified the Dayton Law spirit of community. I am confident that the members of this class will be problem solvers for their clients and leaders in their communities."

Kellie Clark received the Brother Raymond Fitz Student Leader for Justice award, which is given annually to a law student who has followed in the footsteps of UD's former president by actively seeking ways to better the world. Clark was an honors student, chief justice of the Moot Court Board, a staff writer on the Law Review, treasurer of the Intellectual Property Law Society and on the board for the Volunteer Student Law Project.

The class' 144 graduates were welcomed to the Dayton Law Alumni Association by Steve Yuhas '85, the president of the association.

This year's commencement speaker was Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Eric Brown. Brown, who most recently was judge on the Franklin County Probate Court, replaced Chief Justice Thomas Moyer, who died unexpectedly in April.

In his address, Brown told graduates that being members of the legal profession carries a great responsibility. "We are the guides, the leaders of civic society," he said. "This unique role calls on us as attorneys to have respect for the truth, respect for the process and respect for one another. This value, more than 2,000 years in the making, will serve you well as you enter the legal profession."

Lawyers and judges are engaged in critical work, Brown said, "but the authority of courts is sustained by the confidence of the citizens in the manner of our conduct."

Therefore, he said, it is vital for members of the legal profession to maintain "the trust, the respect of the clients who seek our counsel and the confidence of the general public who believe we will fairly interpret and apply the laws that constitute the rules of society."

For more information, contact Bob Mihalek at 937-229-4683.