May 20, 2013
"I want you to choose to do hard things," imploring the Class of 2013 to not turn away from those who need lawyers most, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed asked the 174 graduates to "have the will to act."
Reed was the keynote speaker at the 29th Commencement and Hooding ceremony on May 17 for Georgia State University College of Law.
"You are going to make it because Georgia State University has prepared you," Reed told the Class of 2013. "You all are going to have terrific lives—successful and full lives. Don't let that success turn you away from those who must need lawyers. Do good for people who cannot afford you."
The mayor warned the graduates that as young attorneys they were going to take some hits. "The question becomes how do stay faithful to your vision," he said.
"Atlanta, the United States and the world need you to care about the law in a very serious way after the celebration is over," Reed said. "A few of you are going to do things that really change the world."
Jennifer McCall, Student Bar Association president, called on her classmates to be passionate about what they do and "that you will use your skills to help people.
"As you go out into the world, I hope you look at others' situations and ask yourself, 'Would I be outraged?'" McCall said, recalling the words of 2013 Ben F. Johnson Award recipient Judith A. O'Brien. "If the answer is yes, I hope you use the skills you gained in law school to do something worthwhile."
In addition to the graduates, the college honored Jim Bross, professor of law and founding faculty member, who retired after the ceremony.
Risa Palm, university senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, conferred the juris doctorate on the 174 graduates.
Roy Sobelson, associate dean for academic affairs, led the hooding ceremony with a student-selected faculty hooding team of Jessica Gabel, associate professor of law; Ryan Rowberry, assistant professor of law; Corneill Stephens, professor of law; and Kelly Timmons, associate dean for student affairs and associate professor of law.
Steven J. Kaminshine, dean and professor of law, reminded the graduates to thank those who supported them throughout law school.
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