On Sunday, May 7, The University of Alabama School of Law hosted the 2023 Alabama Law Commencement Ceremony at Coleman Coliseum. During the celebration, the School of Law awarded Juris Doctor Degrees to 121 students—including three J.D. students who took joint degrees in Business Administration or Social Work and nine J.D. students who also took an LL.M (Master of Laws Degree) in Taxation or Business Transactions. An additional nine students were awarded LL.M degrees in Taxation or Business Transactions, and one student was awarded a Juris Masters Degree.
“You are talented and capable, each in your own unique way,” said Dean Mark E. Brandon to the graduates at the ceremony. “You have learned here much about the art and the craft of the profession of law. If I could wish anything for you, it would be not merely for success, though I do wish that for you. It would be that you use your talents – and the adversity you have faced – to make a difference in the lives of others. ”
The commencement address was given by Mike House (Class of 1971), founder of Oak Grove Strategies in Washington D.C. and former chair of the Board of Governors of the University of Alabama Law School Foundation. During his speach. House shared advice and insights with the students from lessons he has learned throughout his career.
“Your reputation is paramount to your success. . . It takes years to build, it takes time, it takes effort, it takes consistency,” said House. He then quoted Maya Angelou, ‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel,’ and he expressed that the “impression others have of you . . . [is based on] how you treat others.”
Throughout the ceremony, reflections were offered by past president of the Student Bar Association, Blaize Naman—who will be earning a JD/MBA dual degree this fall—and 2023 valedictorian, Kat Oglesby. The National Anthem was performed by Angel Sims (Class of 2023).