On Sunday, August 15, Brooklyn Law School proudly welcomed the entering class of 2010 at its annual Convocation Ceremony. This year’s convocation was held at the Kings County Supreme Courthouse. A reception at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District followed the program and gave students an opportunity to talk to faculty and administrators.
Interim Dean Michael Gerber welcomed the 488 students, who were selected from nearly 6,000 applicants. The incoming class hails from over 26 countries and five continents.
“I am thrilled with the extraordinary blend of students represented in this class,” Dean Gerber said. “I am pleased to welcome them to the Brooklyn Law School community at such an exciting time to study law.”
Professor Nelson Tebbe welcomed the students with a heartfelt faculty address. He encouraged them to use Brooklyn Law School's excellent resources to explore the many facets of legal practice and to discover which ones would yield the greatest professional satisfaction. He added that he hoped working with the law would be not merely an occupation for them, but a calling.
Professor Claire Kelly, this year’s Mistress of Ceremonies, introduced students to faculty members and provided insight about their fellow classmates. Among the range of students who had jobs or careers prior to law school, she noted, were a reporter from The Washington Post, an aerospace engineer, an economist at the U.S. Department of Labor, an independent movie producer, a synchronized swimming instructor, a manager for the Walt Disney Company, a certified USA Hockey official, and a musician who has performed at the White House. Professor Kelly also pointed out that many of the incoming class members worked for Fortune 500 companies, were managers and consultants for some of the nations’ leading financial institutions, and held positions at some of the most prestigious law firms and government agencies in the country.
This entering class, like others in the past, is remarkably diverse, and the students are fluent in multiple languages. Nearly 90 students speak at least three languages; the languages spoken by class members include Swahili, Russian, Afrikaans, multiple Chinese dialects, and several of India’s official languages. Continuing a long-standing BLS tradition, students’ public interest involvements were as diverse as their peers. One student worked in Nigeria as a counselor for human trafficking victims, another provided aid and protection to refugees in a Zambian settlement, and four others were Peace Corps volunteers. Some students interned for the New York Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union. Some taught for Teach for America, and still others were involved with organizations including the American Cancer Society, the YMCA, the Red Cross, and Planned Parenthood.
Over the next several weeks, students will have many opportunities to get to know one another through a rich and varied mix of student orientation activities. The Office of Student Affairs has put together a wide range of events for first-year students, including a Prospect Park Sports Day, a visit to Coney Island (complete with a Brooklyn Cyclones Baseball Game), a tour of the Federal Reserve Bank and its Gold Vault, and a visit to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.