On May 20, 2019, Fordham Law School held its 112th diploma ceremony at Fordham University’s Rose Hill campus.
Dean Matthew Diller and President Fr. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., conferred degrees on 564 graduates, awarding 386 J.D. degrees, 154 LL.M. degrees, 16 M.S.L. degrees, and 8 S.J.D. degrees.
In his welcome remarks, Dean Diller reminded the graduates of the gravity of their chosen profession, noting that they would be entering the workforce at a particularly challenging time, when the responsibility that lawyers bear is at its greatest.
Father McShane echoed Diller’s sentiments, noting that this year’s graduating class is particularly historic, having entered law school in 2016. The election and its aftermath shaped this class of students, regardless of their party affiliations, McShane said, telling the graduates he would be “willing to bet that it caused you to pursue your studies with a greater sense of purpose.”
Fordham Law’s graduating class of 2019 has truly committed itself to service—as a group, the students have performed over 152,000 hours of public service during their law school tenure. This theme permeated the speakers’ remarks throughout the ceremony.
Following remarks by Dean Diller and Father McShane, Tanyell S. Cooke, president of the Student Bar Association, shared some poignant remarks with her fellow graduates, urging them to always "strive to be better."
Ted Neustadt ’79 was honored with the Eugene J. Keefe award for service to Fordham Law School. The Adjunct Teacher of the Year award was given to Jerry H. Goldfeder (an honor he received previously in 2015). Tanya K. Hernández, Fordham’s Archibald R. Murray Professor of Law was awarded Teacher of the Year.
Keynote speaker, U.S. District Court Judge for the Eastern District of New York, Hon. Pamela K. Chen, gave a touching and humorous graduation address rife with references to Mean Girls to serve as mnemonic devices for the wisdom she imparted. Why Mean Girls? Joking aside, Chen noted that many of the movie’s messages were deeply relevant to the occasion and “spoke to the challenges that all the graduates face as they embark on their careers in the law.”