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Nearly 300 Graduates Receive Degrees at School of Law Commencement

Dean of Law School with Guest Speaker
Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Degrees were conferred on 227 J.D. and 63 LL.M. candidates at the annual St. John’s School of Law Commencement Exercises held on June 3, 2018, in Carnesecca Arena on the Queens campus. 

Preet Bharara, Distinguished Scholar in Residence, NYU School of Law, and former United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, served as this year’s Commencement speaker and received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. “Great lawyers have never been more important than now,” he said. “The rule of law has never been more important than now. Good leaders have never been more important than now.” 

Mr. Bharara called on graduates to seize opportunities to lead, and be honorable, courageous, respectful, and true to their word. “The virtue of serving the public cannot be overstated,” he said.

Michael A. Simons, J.D., Dean of the School of Law and John V. Brennan Professor of Law and Ethics, announced that the Class of 2018 devoted more than 50,000 hours to pro bono and public service work. Along the way, he added, they seized the opportunity to do good and used the power of the profession to achieve justice.

“You have rolled up your sleeves and done the actual work of lawyers” to fulfill St. John’s Vincentian mission, he observed.

Gabrielle Schwartz ’18L was inspired by the messages of Dean Simons and Mr. Bharara. “I had many opportunities to volunteer and assist those in need through the Public Interest Center, and I have benefitted from those experiences immensely. I will carry them—and my commitment to service—with me as I build a meaningful and rewarding career in the law.”

Several graduates were recognized for attaining top honors:

  • Kathryn Baldwin ’18L received the Joseph Kerzner Award for achieving the highest cumulative grade point average in the J.D. program.
  • Christine Chu ’18L earned the Esterina Giuliani Award for the highest cumulative grade point average in the Evening Division.
  • Daniel Thomson ’18LLM and Agnes Opoku-Barnieh ’18LLM received awards for earning the highest cumulative grade point average in the Bankruptcy and Transnational Legal Practice LL.M. programs, respectively.
  • Saverio Lo Monaco ’18LLM received top honors in the US Legal Studies LL.M. program.

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View Commencement Video

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