MSU College of Law Commencement 2018

At the 2018 spring commencement for Michigan State University College of Law on May 11, faculty, staff, the Board of Trustees, alumni, and family celebrated the next generation of Spartan Lawyers as they received their degrees.

Nearly 300 MSU College of Law students walked the stage during the ceremony. 244 students accepted their Juris Doctorate, 18 others took home their Master in Law degree, and 11 students received their Master of Jurisprudence degree.

In his opening address, Dean Lawrence Ponoroff offered the graduates advice as they enter the field. He told them to be proud of their educational accomplishments and be knowledgeable, but not without being receptive to the opinions and ideas of others.

“If law school has taught you anything, hopefully it’s that there is almost never a single ‘right’ answer. The world is a pretty messy, complicated place. So listen to others, particularly those who disagree with you,” said Ponoroff. “Don’t assume that you always have it right. You don’t; precious few of us are infallible. We all make mistakes. Trust me, I’ve made some doozies in my time. Personal growth flourishes in respect and tolerance for views that diverge from our own, and it stagnates in idolatry.”

John F. Schaefer,’69, delivered the keynote. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because the MSU College of Law dedicated and named the law library “The John F. Schaefer Law Library” in 2010. Schaefer is one of the best-known and most highly-respected matrimonial lawyers in the United States, a Trustee Emeritus on the College’s Board of Trustees, and an adjunct professor at MSU College of Law for over 30 years.

To the graduates, Schaefer voiced the benefits of being a mindful, humble lawyer with integrity. He emphasized the importance of establishing a reputation, but not just from winning cases, rather from being the lawyer that your client needs and can rely on during the time they’ve sought your help.

“Our objective in the practice of law and in life should be to ‘do well and do good’ and make sure the first one doesn't swallow up the second,” said Schaefer.

Peter Lucido, ’88, was the recipient of the Honorable George N. Bashara, Jr. Class of ’61 Distinguished Alumni Award. This year’s commencement ceremony was doubly special for Lucido. In addition to receiving his award, he was also given the honor of presenting his own daughter, Nina Lucido, with her diploma.

Nina Lucido, who was also the J.D. Class President, introduced the selected faculty speaker, the Honorable Rosemarie Aquilina. She became the first female faculty member to speak at a spring commencement. Judge Aquilina was followed by the selected student speaker, Christine Pattison.

MSU College of Law is very proud and congratulates the Class of 2018 on their success!

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