School of Law Honors Graduates at 2012 Commencement Ceremony

Lexington, VA • Saturday, May 05, 2012


Commencement speaker, Linda Klein

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The Washington and Lee University School of Law celebrated its 157th commencement on Saturday, May 5, awarding 129 juris doctor degrees.

Graduation festivities began Friday afternoon on the Lewis Hall lawn with the annual awards ceremony and presentation of walking sticks. The John W. Davis Prize for Law, awarded to the graduate with the highest cumulative grade point average, was awarded to Avalon Jonah Frey of Charlottesville, Va.

Three students graduated summa cum laude, 16 graduated magna cum laude, and 19 graduated cum laude. 13 students were named to Order of the Coif, an honorary scholastic society that encourages excellence in legal education. A  list of honors and awards appears below.

In addition to achievements in the classroom, the Class of 2012 distinguished itself with its pro bono service to the law and the community. In all, the class completed 10,177 hours of service during this academic year, and 41 students were recognized for completing 100 hours or more of service.

The commencement ceremony began at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday with an opening invocation by Andrew W. "Uncas" McThenia, James P. Morefield Professor of Law, Emeritus. After the official welcome from President Ken Ruscio and remarks from Interim Dean Mark Grunewald, the candidates were awarded their degrees.

Linda Klein '83L, chair of the American Bar Association House of Delegates and managing shareholder of the Georgia offices of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, delivered this year's commencement address. In her remarks, Klein assured the graduates that they had made a good career choice.

"One of the best choices you ever made is why you are sitting here today. You chose to become a lawyer," said Klein. "I promise you that's true, even if you find yourself doubting it some days. The law is vital. Everyone needs access to the law. Indeed, knowing the law is how we make the right choices."

Read more about Linda Klein's address.

Special honors at Friday's awards ceremony went to the following students:

Summa Cum Laude

Magna Cum Laude

Cum Laude

Order Of The Coif

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