Welcoming Remarks: Shawndra Jones
When we began the journey through law school, it may have seemed as if this day would never arrive. Although our professors assured us that law school would teach us to “think like a lawyer,” many of us were anxious about what exactly that entailed and whether we could do it. Yet in spite of our apprehensions, we have made it!
This journey was challenging, but facing those challenges helped us learn and grow as individuals. Today, we celebrate our growth, learning, accomplishments, and friendships. Today is the day to reap the reward of all our hard work.
Friends and family, this celebration is as much yours as it is ours. You have encouraged and pushed us to keep moving in our journey despite the twists in our path. For that, we applaud you. Without your support, we could not have done it. Faculty and staff, we also appreciate the time and effort that you have devoted to our law school experience. In your own way, each of you has helped us establish a solid foundation on which we can build.
Thus, today should be not only a day of celebration and appreciation but also one of reflection and anticipation. As we reflect on our experiences, I hope each of us remembers both the enjoyable and somewhat unpleasant aspects of this apprenticeship—not only the extracurricular activities and professors’ humorous comments but also the exam period and Socratic method. More importantly, as we embark on our new journey with anticipation, may we be better people than we were when we arrived in these halls. Like law school, our new journey full of possibilities will also be challenging at times. As you meet those challenges, be encouraged, remembering your law school journey and the rewards you reap today. May God be with us. Welcome and congratulations to the Class of 2008!