New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman served as the graduation speaker at Fordham Law School’s 110th Law School Diploma Ceremony on Monday, May 22. The ceremony was held on Fordham University’s Rose Hill Campus.
Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham University, and Matthew Diller, dean of Fordham Law, conferred degrees on 529 individuals: J.D., M.S.L., LL.M., and S.J.D. graduates. Schneiderman, who has served as New York State’s highest ranking law enforcement officer since 2010, received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree for his leadership in the service of others and his unflagging commitment to the rule of law. He praised Fordham Law for being a “national leader” in the access to justice movement.
In his welcome remarks, Dean Diller celebrated the achievements of the graduating class while reminding them of the serious responsibilities that legal professionals assume.
“As lawyers, you are the stewards of the rule of law. You guarantee its future. And we look to you to safeguard our democracy,” Diller said. “You stand out as beacons of promise. If we are at a crossroads, then you are the signposts that will lead us in the right direction.”
Diller praised the efforts of clinical students who won federal court cases on tax and trademark issues, members of the Immigration Advocacy Project who received the NYSBA President’s Pro Bono Service Award, and participants in know-your-rights workshops for immigrants and parents at local high schools. Diller also recognized the individual success of graduate Joshua Liebman, who missed the ceremony because he was receiving the Burton Award for Distinguished Legal Writing at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
Following remarks by Diller and Father McShane, the Law School honored Professor Carl Minzner as Teacher of the Year and Michael J. Lane as Adjunct Teacher of the Year. The Dean’s Medal of Recognition was presented to two individuals: Professor Nestor M. Davidson, for his exemplary service as associate dean for academic affairs; and Professor Gail Hollister, a torts expert who retired this year after an almost four-decade teaching career.
In addition, the Eugene J. Keefe Award was presented to Nitza Milagros Escalera, assistant dean of student affairs and diversity initiatives, and Herbert Zell Rosen, president of the Student Bar Association.