Convocation Ceremony Welcomes New Students to the Law School

08/27/2019

Brooklyn Law School welcomed 433 new students on August 19 at the annual Convocation Ceremony, held in the Ceremonial Courtroom at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Vice Dean Christina Mulligan served as master of ceremonies for the event, which featured remarks from Professor Catherine Y. Kim; Gloria Greco ’98, Chief Compliance Officer at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and member of the Brooklyn Law School Alumni Association Board of Directors; and Michael T. Cahill, President and Joseph Crea Dean.

The incoming class includes 370 full-time students and 35 members of the extended 4-Year Program. Joining the incoming J.D. students are 5 new second-year students who have transferred to Brooklyn Law School. The LL.M. program welcomed 16 new students from 14 countries, including Italy, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, Nigeria, Tajikistan, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, and Russia; five additional LL.M. students will arrive in the spring. Seven exchange students from Germany, Argentina, China, Netherlands, and India also will study at the Law School this fall.

Kim opened by stressing the importance of the law and the role she hoped students would play to effect change. “You are the next generation’s army of lawyers, legislators, prosecutors, public defenders, and thinkers that can turn the tide on these trends,” she said. “Your training over the next few years, both inside the classroom and out, will prepare you well for this formidable challenge. I know you are up for it.”

Greco spoke movingly of the influence that her father-in-law, the late Professor Joseph Crea ’47, had on generations of students. “He was an incredible man, loved and respected by many in the law school community. Joe devoted his life to the school,” said Greco, who met her spouse at the Law School. “He also is remembered by many not just for his professional knowledge, but also for his willingness to mentor students and advocate for what he believed was right, even when it was contrary to the views of others.” Acknowledging the anxiety incoming students may feel, she assured them, “you will not be alone—most of your classmates will go through the same period of adjustment, and it is totally normal.”

Cahill, noting that this year’s new class would be his first as dean, urged students to commit to “developing the character and fitness to be a lawyer.” He further emphasized that the mission of the law can be summed up in a single word: justice. “To be a lawyer is to commit yourself to pursuing justice, which means that you must first believe in justice,” he said. “You must believe that it is in our collective power to make our community, our society, and our world a more fair, more decent, more humane place.”

Ultimately, he said, “pursuing justice is extremely satisfying…because it’s also fundamentally optimistic, and if you embrace that optimism, you will have a very happy career.”

View photos of the Convocation Ceremony here