The University of Maine School of Law awarded J.D. degrees to 83 students, as well as five LL.M. degrees, at a commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 20th. Five of the graduates were awarded the Law School’s first Certificates in Information Privacy Law.
The Hon. Jon D. Levy, U.S. District Judge in Maine, was the keynote speaker. His speech was on Lawyers and the Rebirth of Civic Engagement.
“Soon you will take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution,” Judge Levy said to the graduates. “That oath transcends policy disagreements, and, given the necessities of our times, it must be understood as including the responsibility of lawyers to be engaged in civic life and to provide leadership in strengthening civic institutions. It is lawyers who are most adept at helping society balance individual rights with the duties we owe to each other and to society.”
Dean Danielle Conway thanked the Class of 2017 for their leadership in making Maine Law a more community-focused law school.
“As a group, you have combined a pledge to promote excellence in the classroom, the Clinic, and your community with a personal commitment to building a lasting network with your past, present, and future colleagues in this noble profession.”
Also at commencement, the Law School presented the 2017 L. Kinvin Wroth Award to the Hon. Michael A. Fagone ‘97, a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the District of Maine in Bangor. The award, named after former Law School Dean L. Kinvin Wroth, honors a Maine Law graduate who has achieved distinction in his or her career by contributing as a leader, locally, nationally or globally, and who has helped advance his or her alma mater.
“The legal community here in Maine has a special connection with Maine Law,” Judge Fagone said to the graduates. “While I have no empirical data to back this up, I suspect that connection is based on the caliber of students coming out of Maine Law, and the frequency with which those students stay in Maine to work as lawyers.”
Connor Schratz of Lockport, New York was the student speaker.
Maine Law also awarded more than two dozen merit awards to the graduates. About 800 family members, friends, and invited guests attended the ceremony at Portland’s Merrill Auditorium.