Law School Celebrates the Class of 2021 at its 120th Commencement
Brooklyn Law School celebrated its 120th commencement ceremony May 21, conferring 363 J.D. degrees and 22 LL.M. degrees. In lieu of a traditional commencement ceremony, the Law School community honored the Class of 2021 via a live video broadcast on YouTube and Facebook Live. In addition, an in-person commencement ceremony for the graduating class will be held as soon as large gatherings are possible.
The video featured remarks by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Dean Michael T. Cahill, Board of Trustees Chair Francis Aquila ’83, and Alumni Association President Valerie Fitch ’88, as well as valedictorian Jordan Khorshad ’21 and student speaker Lance Bond ’21. Many of the speakers touched upon the disruptions to the class’s legal education caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic and the pivot to remote learning in March 2020.
“I am so honored to be part of a diverse, driven, and intelligent class of students,” said Khorshad. “We are a law school class unlike any other. This past year-and-a-half has showcased our resilience and determination, as we endured considerable challenges to reach this point.”
“Over the past year, in spite of global unrest, we’ve still grown as students, individuals, and professionals,” said Bond. “From our Zoom windows, we’ve celebrated personal, academic, and professional achievements. How sweet these accomplishments will be when we’re able to celebrate them in person, hopefully very soon. Regardless, I take solace in the fact that the adversity our class has faced has only changed the medium through which our story has been told.”
Dean Cahill compared the student’s experience to training for a marathon, but one with an unclear endpoint. “Know that you have made it to the finish line of your legal education, and, in these extraordinary times, that is an accomplishment in which you should take pride forever,” said Cahill.
“Don’t let the harshness of this past year prevent you from seizing new opportunities,” said Schumer. “They’re out there, you just have to keep your eyes open to them. And don’t forget you have incredible assets: a degree from a great institution and loving families who will have your back through thick and thin.”
Fitch, whose son Dylan Flanders ’21 was graduating that day, welcomed the graduates to the Alumni Association, a global community of 23,000 following a broad range of professional pursuits.
Aquila placed the difficulties faced by the graduating class in the context of a long line of Law School graduates who have overcome significant obstacles, while emphasizing the singularity of their achievement.
“While many of our fellow alums have endured stiff challenges, none have experienced what you have over the last 15 months,” said Aquila. “Simply put, you have been challenged on every level, and you have prevailed. If you could succeed in this environment, there is nothing you cannot accomplish.”
The names of graduates who have been awarded honors and received a prize or award will be announced later this month.
Watch the 120th Commencement Ceremony video here