109th BLS Commencement at Lincoln Center

Brooklyn Law School held its 109th Commencement Ceremony for the Class of 2010 in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center where most of the 463 graduating students received their Juris Doctor degrees. Family and friends attending the ceremony filled the hall to capacity and heard speeches by James M. Hays II, Class Valedictorian, Law School Dean Joan G. Wexler and NYC Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, the commencement speaker. The mayor received the Law School’s honorary degree of Doctor of Laws in recognition of his service to the City of New York, his work on behalf of charitable, cultural, and educational institutions, and his achievements in business and information technology.

In his remarks, Mayor Bloomberg told the assembled guests that Brooklyn Law School members play a major role in city government including his own in-house counsel, and his chief assistant, Anthony Crowell and Bill Heinzen, who both teach a course at BLS on the law of state and local government. He also noted that the City’s Chief Attorney, Michael Cardozo, has assembled New York’s largest law firm, the Corporation Counsel’s office, with more than 600 of New York City’s top lawyers of whom one out of every seven is a graduate of Brooklyn Law School. He cited BLS as a major source of city government’s legal talent in its agencies, such as the five district attorneys’ offices and the city courts.

Explaining why so many BLS grads do legal work for the city, the mayor said “Brooklyn Law School has a reputation that just happens to be true: No other school does a better job of preparing attorneys to practice law in New York. Year after year, BLS ranks among the nation’s best schools in clinical legal education, and in public service law. And no other law school produces graduates with a more ferocious work ethic and desire to succeed.”

Among the Class of 2010, six received their degrees Summa Cum Laude: Sparkle L. Alexander, Justin W. Denton, Rachel E. Green, James M. Hays II, Rachel D. Lerner, Megan Prunella and William C. Vandivort. Twenty-six students received their degrees Magna Cum Laude and seventy-nine students received their degrees Cum Laude. The full list of students graduating with honors is here. A list of Commencement Prizes and Awards for the Class of 2010 is available here.