Vanessa Ryan 0

Bring back the December 2017 commencement ceremony

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"Dear members of the Barry Law School community,

I hope you are well and enjoying this semester. I am writing to inform you of a change in commencement ceremonies for the Law School. Moving forward, there will be only one commencement ceremony for the Barry School of Law, regardless of the student’s completion date. The Barry Law commencement ceremony will take place in May of each year. Students who have successfully completed all degree requirements, regardless of the completion date, will be eligible to participate in the official May commencement ceremony."

All the best,
Amy M. Lefkowitz
Associate Dean for Student Affairs

Bring back the December 2017 commencement ceremony

Most students who graduate in December are either part-time or full-time who have gone the extra mile to complete their studies in an earlier time-frame. Others are full-time students who began their law school studies in the spring. Regardless of why these students become December graduates, they are students who have worked very hard to pursue and complete their Juris Doctor. Any law student knows this journey is not easy and that the extra hours put in to their studies to finish early, means that there were additional hours sacrificed taken away from family, friends, work, and other personal activities. While the end reward for most students is sitting for the state bar and receiving a passing score, the ad interim reward is the commencement ceremony. This is the time when the families and loved ones will be able to publicly celebrate and congratulate their “student” for a job well done. It’s also the opportunity for them to see their loved one publically recognized for their 3-4 years of hard work and sacrifice. A moment for them to be proud of their loved one’s highly esteemed accomplishment of earning their Juris Doctor.

We as students all know the hardships and the sacrifices that are made during law school. Even more, we know that it’s not over once we receive our degree. The last 3-4 years only prepare us for the single most important test that we will probably take in our professional lives. Our one moment of celebration before the real test comes, is at commencement. That is the moment we get to shine, if only for one day, and recognize that we made it. We did it. The all-nighters studying for back to back exams, the missed family moments, anniversaries, vacations—it was all worth it, because as you walk across the stage, you realize that you accomplished one of the most difficult challenges in your life. More importantly, the people who encouraged you when you felt like quitting and throwing in the towel-they are all there celebrating your glorious day.

Today, we received notification that Barry School of Law wants to delay this rightfully earned moment to its December graduates. The administration at Barry School of Law informed its students that effective immediately, they will only be hosting one commencement ceremony per calendar year. This ceremony will now only be held in May. Presently, Barry School of Law offers its students the ability to graduate in either December or May. Up until this announcement, the school hosted commencement ceremonies for each graduation period to recognize students immediately upon completion of their degree. I am writing this petition to request that Barry School of Law bring back its December commencement ceremonies, immediately. Under the new policy, December graduates will most likely sit for the State bar and receive their scores, before they are even formally recognized by their own dean for a job well done. Most students will transition back to their original cities and have entered the workforce after completing their law degree. The difficulty in returning to celebrate the completion of law school, with a class that is not our own, clearly presents its own issues, however, the important matter is that December graduates have earned the right to have their own day. Please sign this petition if you support this December’s graduating class to have a commencement ceremony that aligns with their completion date of law school.


Concerned December Graduates of Barry Law

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