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Alabama Law Celebrates the Class of 2024

May 16, 2024

On Sunday, May 5, The University of Alabama School of Law honored 161 graduates at its annual Commencement Ceremony at Coleman Coliseum.  Among the graduates, 153 received Juris Doctor degrees—including one student who also earned a dual degree in Business Administration and six students who earned dual JD/LL.M degrees. An additional eight members of the 2024 Class received standalone LL.M degrees.

“For you, the Class of 2024, we celebrate thousands of hours of study, achievement, and service,” Dean Bill Brewbaker said. “We celebrate friendships made. We celebrate the completion of a significant challenge and the beginning of new opportunities.”

The commencement address was given by the Honorable L. Scott Coogler of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. Coogler has served as District Judge for over 20 years, and has been a pillar of the Law School community by teaching as an adjunct professor, judging various moot court competitions, and mentoring numerous students and graduates through internships and clerkships in his chambers.

“When you are living the fast-paced exciting life that you will no doubt have after graduation, take time to stop – to listen to your heart…,” Judge Coogler said. “And sometimes – not always, but sometimes – do yourself a favor and follow them. They will open up a world you will otherwise miss.”

Swapanthi Mandalika gave the valedictorian’s address. Swapanthi and her classmate, Trent Gill, both finished law school with the highest possible official GPA—4.0. Because Mandalika finished her academic career with the most A+ grades, she was selected to give the address. In the coming months, Mandalika has two clerkships lined up. First, she will be in the Northern District of Alabama clerking for the Honorable Anna Manasco, and then she will move over to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals serving with the Honorable Scott Matheson Jr. Upon completion of those clerkships, she has been offered the opportunity to work for the firm Latham & Watkins in Washington, DC. Gill will be clerking for Judge Elizabeth Branch at the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals before clerking for the Honorable Allison Jones Rushing at the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and he has received an offer from the firm McGuireWoods in Richmond, Virginia.

Erik Clifton, past president of the Student Bar Association, also offered a reflection, and the national anthem was performed by Davis Dykes–another member of the graduating class.

To watch the full 2024 Alabama Law Commencement Ceremony, visit this link on the Law School’s website.

The University of Alabama School of Law strives to remain neutral on issues of public policy. The Law School’s communications team may facilitate interviews or share opinions expressed by faculty, staff, students, or other individuals regarding policy matters. However, those opinions do not necessarily reflect the views of the Law School, the University, or affiliated leadership.