LMU Loyola Law School Welcomes Newest Class of Attorneys
LMU Loyola Law School welcomed its newest class of attorneys to the legal profession during a ceremony held on its downtown L.A. campus on Monday, Dec. 2, 2019.
One of the largest fall oath ceremonies, the event reflected the law school’s 80 percent pass rate for first-time takers of the July 2019 California Bar Exam. That rate placed LLS 9 percentage points over the state average for first-time ABA test takers.
“This is one of those events that the bigger it is, the better it is for us. And you look around, and the tent is full,” proclaimed Dean Michael Waterstone in his opening remarks. “There are lots of reasons that I have the best job in the world. One of them is a day like today because I get to look out and see this amazing news of this wonderful accomplishment.”
Professor Gary Craig, recipient of the 2019 Day Division Excellence in Teaching Award, commended the newly minted attorneys on their fortitude.
“To get to this point, you had to pass what is universally recognized as the most difficult bar exam in the country. You had to make it through at least 19 years of school, hundreds of hours of classes, thousands of pages of reading and countless assignments,” he said. “Obviously, passing the bar is a significant accomplishment because it means you can practice law. I actually think it means a lot more than that: It means that you can do anything you set your mind to. It means that you will not be held back by anything or anyone and you can be an agent for change and more importantly a role model for others.”
That was a sentiment heard throughout the ceremony, which underscored the potential in all of the attorneys being sworn into the California and federal bars.
“One of the hallmarks of Loyola graduates is they work very hard,” said Hon. Sandra Klein ’92, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California. “I encourage you to continue that legacy. If you commit to working diligently and treat each and every day like a job in, you will be successful and have more job opportunities than you can ever imagine.”
Moreover, speakers encourage to continue to give back to the community in ways they first developed as students.
“I know that I would not have graduated from Loyola, and certainly would not have become a judge, without some wonderful mentors who encouraged, supported and guided me,” said Judge Klein. “Now that you are lawyers, you must mentor and encourage others. Begin by volunteering to mentor Loyola students so they can talk to you about their challenges and goals. In addition to becoming mentors, think about other ways to help your school.”
After administering the attorney oath, Hon. Andre De La Cruz ’06, Superior Court of California, Orange County, described what he thinks sets LLS alumni apart in the profession.
“You are now officially attorneys. But I did want to add that you are not only California attorneys, but You are California attorneys from Loyola. And that will be a permanent imprimatur,” he said. “You carry that very important reputation, the reputation that all Loyola graduates are awesome attorneys, ethical attorneys and have an utmost reputation to uphold. And I wish all of you the best of luck to continue that tradition and uphold that reputation.”
Throughout the ceremony, one message resonated: potential. And for Dean Waterstone, that prompted a reminder.
“I want you to go out and change the world. We need you to do that,” he said. “As you know from your time here, our justice system while in many ways the envy of the world – is broken in important ways. We’re looking to you to go out and fix it. Make the world a better place."