Wise Words From Alumni to the Class of 2022

To help celebrate this year’s graduates, alumni share advice and encouragement.

Blue text on blue background that reads: The Class of 2022

“Find work that is enjoyable, meaningful, and fulfilling.”
“Use your legal training in law in ways you may not have even imagined.”
“Keep close contact with your friends from law school.”

As the Class of 2022 prepares to graduate on May 16 and embark on their legal careers, alumni leaders who generously serve on this year’s reunion committees offered the newest members of the Columbia Law School alumni network words of wisdom. 

Read excerpts below.

Advice to the Class of 2022

Graduates celebrating their reunion years welcome the newest members of the Columbia Law School alumni network with words of wisdom.

Class of 1977

Cathy Kaplan

“As the years go on, you will find that you will be surprised at how much your law school education has prepared you not only for the practice of law but for other areas of life. . . . The training in how to think, how to solve problems, and how to work collaboratively is as important a part of your educational experience as the specific knowledge that you have gained about the law.”

Class of 1967

George Kellner

“Find work you enjoy, and don’t settle for what’s easy/convenient.”

Class of 2012

Gerold Niggemann LL.M.

“It may not feel that way, but this is the best time in history to start a career. Be confident; the tremendous changes we are seeing present the greatest opportunities for those who are just entering the profession—because they are starting fresh.”

Class of 1992

Marian Brancaccio

“Be open to opportunities to use your legal training in law in ways you may not have even imagined.”

Class of 2002

Patrice Jean

“Be professional and kind in all that you do. The people you interact with may not remember the details of your interaction with them, but they will always remember how you made them feel.”

Class of 1997

Ignacio Cruz Aguigui

“Find work that is enjoyable, meaningful, and fulfilling for you. Always strive to maintain a healthy balance between your professional and personal lives. . . . Continually reflect on your life, and appreciate all the good things you have. It will make you happier and give you a balanced perspective on where things stand. Remember that life is ever-changing.”

Class of 2012

Lorenzo Togni LL.M.

“Observe where there is momentum in the legal services industry, and [do not] place undue weight on tier-one shiny names in private practice. Stay curious!”

Class of 1987

Cynthia Quarterman

“Follow your heart. Don’t hyperventilate over your first job out of law school. There will be lots of great opportunities in your future.”

Class of 1977

Wesley Dias

“Build on the love and support of family and friends as you pursue your dreams. It is important for you to recognize that despite the world’s turmoil, your futures are bright. In each of you is considerable potential, seen and nurtured by those around you. I urge you to firmly embrace that support and propel yourself forward on life’s path with enthusiasm, confidence, and unshakeable self-esteem. The world is a better place because you are here. . . . Never lose sight of your humanity and the humanity of those around you.”

Class of 2012

Jade Craig

“Be willing to change the practice areas in which you work based on the degree to which you feel satisfied and find your work truly rewarding.”

Class of 1962

Kenneth L. Stein

“The education you received in law school has given you the gift of critical analysis based on facts, not beliefs. It will serve you well, regardless of the career you choose.”

Class of 2017

Joanna Caytas

“Learn practical, international, and commercial skills. Read financial statements for sport. And spend a lot of time getting to the top of your game in all things tech.”

Class of 2007

Kevin Frankel

“Your career happiness will have much more to do with the people you work with than the prestige of the organization on your business card.”

Class of 1977

Jeffrey Kessler

“Pursue a practice that you are passionate about, and don’t ever forget that we all have an obligation to the profession and the public to promote the rule of law for social good.”

Class of 1972

Robert Rosen

“Keep close contact with your friends from law school. They will be a major asset throughout your life. By and large, my closest friends in life are from or related to my Columbia Law School experience.”

Class of 1972

Robert Grace

“Follow a career that facilitates your helping others.”

Class of 1977

Abbe Lowell

“Do not let the demands of the rest of your life take priority from keeping in touch with your closest high school, college, and law school friends.”

Class of 1967

Joseph Ryan

“Learn as much as you can about the human aspects of law practice—e.g., how to relate to and treat people of all stripes.”