GW Law honored its graduating class of 2022 in the Smith Center Sunday.
Officials congratulated the graduating seniors, among the 3,000-person crowd, for their accomplishments during their time at law school. U.S. Rep. Susan Wild, D-Pa., a GW Law alumni and the keynote speaker, talked about her difficult experiences in her early law career as a woman and how happy she was to see a diverse graduating class.
“By that point, you can say that I felt less than confident in my career choice, especially given the fact that at that time, I was one of very few women in the profession, and I looked far younger than my 25 years,” Wild said. “Often, I was mistaken for the court reporter or a secretary, and let me say as I look out on this crowd today, at the diversity of faces in this audience, I feel such a sense of pride. We have come a long way in this profession.”
Wild said students should take a different view of what resilience means to them and try and push themselves through difficult tasks like challenging court cases, but should give themselves a break if they are struggling with issues like mental health crises.
“So as I leave you today, my fervent hope is this, that you are resilient,” Wild said. “But more importantly that you understand what resilience means. Be bold, be kind, be open minded and thoughtful. And most importantly, do not be afraid.”
Michael Abramowicz, the Jeffrey and Martha Kohn senior associate dean for academic affairs and a professor of law, said law school Dean Dayna Bowen Matthew tested positive for COVID-19 so she was unable to attend the event, but Abramowicz congratulated the class for their resilience in his speech.
“This is a very special day for our law school as we gather to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of our class of 2022 Juris Doctor, Master of Laws, Master of Studies in Law and Doctor of Juridical Science recipients,” Abramowicz said. “Your class has overcome many obstacles and demonstrated extraordinary resilience to reach this day, and I congratulate you all.”
Provost and law professor Chris Bracey, who previously served as the interim dean of the law school from 2019 to 2020, said the graduating class should take pride in their new degrees due to struggles like the COVID-19 pandemic they faced on their way to graduation.
“Graduates, you are here today because you excelled with distinction in your studies through a very difficult period in modern history,” Bracey said. “There is no shame in taking pride in what you have accomplished through all of your hard work. Indeed, I insist that you take pride in all that you were able to accomplish during your three years at the George Washington University Law School.”
Outgoing Student Bar Association president Jordan Michel and member of the law school Class of 2022, said he is thankful for the family members, friends and classmates, for their support throughout his law school experience.
“We appreciate you, we wouldn’t be here without you,” Michel said. “Thank you for putting up with us at our worst selves for the last three, four years. We’ve definitely needed the support of each other, as well as some of our family members, so thank you all.”
Michel said through their shared experiences in law school the class learned humility, acceptance and inclusivity.
“Whether it was in student organizations or on journals, in your communities, or on school initiatives, the Class of 2022 is full of countless impressive leaders,” Michel said.