Commencement 2020

Notes from the Faculty & Staff

Michael Abramowicz

Michael B. Abramowicz

Oppenheim Professor of Law
"Congratulations to all my students and all their classmates!"

Donna Attanasio and Students

Donna Attanasio

Senior Advisor for Energy Law Programs; Professorial Lecturer in Law
"Congratulations! Thank you for sharing your talent and energy with us during your time as a student. Now, the world needs that talent and energy. Make a difference. Make us proud. And come back and visit!"

Michael St. Patrick Baxter

Michael St. Patrick Baxter

Professorial Lecturer in Law
"Don't be afraid of failure. You will often learn more from your failures than from your successes. You will find that some of your biggest failures may lead you to some of your greatest successes."

Robert Brauneis

Robert Brauneis

Professor of Law; Co-Director of the Intellectual Property Law Program; Co-Director of the Dean Dinwoodey Center for Intellectual Property Studies
"To all of you who I have gotten to know, in and outside of class, over the past three years: Thank you for giving me the privilege of your company while we learned together. You have shown me that you are talented, inquisitive, and dedicated, qualities that will serve you well throughout your lives and your legal careers. Congratulations on your great achievements, all the best in these challenging times and beyond, and please keep in touch! "

Rosa Celorio

Rosa Celorio

Associate Dean for International and Comparative Legal Studies; Burnett Family Professorial Lecturer in International and Comparative Law and Policy
"Dear Graduates: Many congratulations for this tremendous achievement! I am so proud of all of you. Today I celebrate you. You have faced many challenges this semester with true determination, dedication, and grit. I hope you go on to help many people and make a real difference. I will never forget you! I send you my best wishes! Big hug, Dean Rosa Celorio"

Donald Clarke

Donald C. Clarke

David Weaver Research Professor of Law
"I think it's fair to say that when the year began, nobody predicted that, before it was over, a roll of toilet paper would be more expensive than a barrel of oil. May this be the toughest year you ever have to experience. Congratulations on your hard work, and best wishes for the future. "

Thomas Colby

Thomas Colby

Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development; John Theodore Fey Research Professor
"Congratuations to all of you. I'm deeply sorry that your studies ended in such trying circumstances. But you will be stronger for having overcome them. I am excited to watch your careers unfold."

Renee Devigne

Renée Y. DeVigne

Associate Dean for Student Academic Development; Professorial Lecturer in Law
"Congratulations! You are a 2020 graduate of GW Law. I honor and celebrate you even though we cannot do so in the traditional manner. Imagine though, that you are in your cap, gown, and the purple hood representing the study of law. You are proudly walking across the stage at the Smith Center, head held high, beaming smile, your name rings out to thunderous applause. You did it! Kudos on your accomplishment. It is a very big deal! "

Elizabeth Ewert

Elizabeth L. Ewert

Associate Dean of Students
"Congratulations class of 2020! This is your time to shine from all the corners of the world. Your collective energy and talent will change the world. You inspire us. Shine on!"

Susan Fine

Susan Fine

Associate Dean for Professional Development and Career Strategy
"Dear Graduates, Congratulations on this significant achievement! Becoming lawyers at this moment presents challenges as well as opportunities for continuous professional development. The arc of your career is long, and resilience is one of the most important skills you will need to serve your clients and the legal system to the best of your ability. I wish you much happiness and satisfaction in your chosen path."

Tim Goodman

Timothy Goodman

Professorial Lecturer in Law
"Dear Class of 2020 - it’s not what we wanted, but it’s what we have. I am very proud of all of you who I have worked with from 1L to now. All the best."

Emily Hammond

Emily Hammond

Jeffrey and Martha Kohn Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; Glen Earl Weston Research Professor
"We are so proud of all you have accomplished! You are on the path of lifetime learners; hold onto the joys of discovery and creativity no matter where your careers take you."

Lin Harmon-Walker

Lin Harmon-Walker

Interim Director of the Environmental and Energy Law Program, Visiting Associate Professor of Law
"Happy Commencement to our environmental, energy, and natural resources law grads! Everything you have learned here, including adaptability and resilience in the face of unprecedented change, will be needed in this era of planet-scale environmental challenges. Whatever path you take, find a way to be the change you want to see in the world, and please stay connected with your alma mater as we help each other build a livable future for all."

Marian Blank Horn

Marian Blank Horn

Professorial Lecturer in Law
"I wish all my former students and all graduates great future success. As a federal judge, I see practicing lawyers every day and my students compare very favorably. Lawyering is an acquired skill, I am still practicing and learning with every case. Especially in these unusual times, be open to unexpected opportunities. Many of us could not have anticipated how we would contribute to the legal profession. Good luck to all graduates."

David Johnson Pro Bono Class of 2020

David M. Johnson

Assistant Dean for Pro Bono & Advocacy Programs; Professorial Lecturer in Law
"Dear Class of 2020, this is what you looked like 3 years ago at the Public Interest & Pro Bono Pre-Orientation. Thanks to Min Ki, Amanda (2x), Jenny, Eduardo, Maria, Mark, Rebecca & Margaret for returning as Group Leaders. Congrats to Alex, Kayvon, Austin, Jimmy, Wyatt, Bianca, Davina, Michael & Anna on your external victories. You all made GW proud! I miss saying more to you and your classmates, but this the best I can do in 450 characters."

Michelle Johnson-Weider

Michelle Johnson-Weider

Professorial Lecturer in Law
"I commend each of you for your perseverance and dedication in achieving this milestone. Wishing you all the best for your future endeavors. "

Robin Juni

Robin L. Juni

Visiting Professor of Law, Fundamentals of Lawyering
"Be proud of the resilience and grace you have demonstrated at this difficult time, as we are proud of all you have accomplished. Be well. "

Cynthia Lee

Cynthia Lee

Edward F. Howrey Professor of Law
"Congratulations to the Class of 2020! Go GW!"

Renee Lettow Lerner

Renee Lettow Lerner

Donald Phillip Rothschild Research Professor
"What an experience this last semester has been! But you've kept up your dedication to learning to the end, and even written a set of excellent exams. Please remember that besides being a lawyer, you can also be a law reformer. With all best wishes for future success as both."

Susan Carney Lynch

Susan Carney Lynch

Professorial Lecturer in Law
"Dear Class of 2020, I am so proud of each of you. While these are challenging time you are up to the challenge. You made the hasty transition from the joys of classroom learning to grinding out classes on google meet. You summoned the courage to write tremendous notes and papers for "credit" in an emotional and uncertain time. You have the grit and brilliance that this world needs to heal and thrive. Go forth and make change!"

Gregory Maggs

Gregory E. Maggs

Professorial Lecturer in Law
"Hurrah! Hurrah! Members of the Class of 2020, through your hard work, you have reached a great milestone. To get here, you had to meet many requirements set by others. But now with your education and degree, you are free to find your own paths, set your own goals, and define your own successes. Don't waste this great liberty. Remember always that you don’t have to do things the way anyone else does them!"

Joan Meier

Joan S. Meier

Professor of Clinical Law
"Dear GW Law 2020 Graduates, Congratulations on completing you law school education in a time of unprecedented challenge, for all of us. I applaud all that you've done, both to complete your studies, and to navigate all the challenges of COVID-19 while doing so. I wish you the very best for your futures. You will always be special to us!"

Hank R. Molinengo

Hank R. Molinengo

Senior Associate Dean for Administrative Affairs; John S. Jenkins Family Professorial Lecturer in Law and Policy
"It was an honor working with your class. You were passionate, engaged, and the epitome of activism and compassion. Thank you for all you have done for our school."

Darrell G. Mottley

Darrell G. Mottley

Professorial Lecturer in Law
"Congratulations on your achievement! This period in world history has been challenging for many. Invent the future and change the world!"

Sean D. Murphy

Sean D. Murphy

Manatt/Ahn Professor of International Law
"Congratulations to the Class of 2020, for surviving both law school and a global pandemic! Best wishes for a long and successful career in law or wherever life takes you."

Dawn Nunziato

Dawn C. Nunziato

William Wallace Kirkpatrick Research Professor
"It has been my great honor to serve as the O'Connor Inn advisor and to teach many of you. I greatly admire how you've persevered in your studies and supported one another in these challenging final weeks. I look forward to celebrating with you and congratulating you in person! I am confident that you will have rewarding and fascinating careers as advocates and I wish you the best in your future endeavors!"

Jeremiah Pam

Jeremiah Pam

Director, Business and Finance Law Program; Professorial Lecturer in Law
"Dear Business and Finance Law graduates, I joined the GW Law community about the same time as many of you did three years ago, and it's been a great pleasure and privilege to get to know so many of you since then, during advising conversations, speaker events, classes, and our informal Friday lunches. I couldn't be more confident in and excited about the careers in practice that lie ahead for you. My warmest wishes, and please stay in touch!"

Todd Peterson

Todd D. Peterson

Carville Dickinson Benson Research Professor
"Congratulations! My wish for you is that you will be as happy in your legal career as I am in mine – but I hope that you get there a lot faster than I did! I hope that you keep thinking about what is enjoyable and meaningful in your work and learn as much as you can from every day in your work. And, as always, but especially now, remember that other people matter."

Richard J. Pierce, Jr.

Richard J. Pierce, Jr.

Lyle T. Alverson Professor of Law
"Congratulations on a job well done in difficult circumstances!"

Max the cat

Ken Rodriguez

Reference/Intellectual Property Librarian; Professorial Lecturer in Law
"I wish you all the best as you write the next chapters of your lives! Max the Cat says: "Make time to relax!""

Catherine Ross

Catherine J. Ross

Fred C. Stevenson Research Professor
"Congratulations to all of my graduating students. I was so impressed by the enthusiastic participation of so many of you after we went on line, and the many exams that displayed hard work and engagement, Wishing you successful careers and much happiness."

Morenike Saula

Morenike Saula

Visiting Associate Professor of Law; Business, Finance, and Entrepreneurship Law Fellow
"Your grades do not define you, your values do."

Joan E. Schaffner

Joan E. Schaffner

Associate Professor of Law
"Congratulations GW Law Class of 2020! You have worked hard and achieved much during your time at GW Law and are now ready to take on the world. It has been an honor and a privilege to have shared this time with you. I wish for you all a successful and rewarding career in the pursuit of your true passion and a lifetime surrounded by the love and support of colleagues, friends, and family. Good luck!"

Roger E. Schechter

Roger E. Schechter

Professor of Law
"A legal education is a powerful weapon. Use it wisely. Wishing you great happiness in all that is to come as you pass this major milestone. We'll miss you."

Sophia Sim

Sophia Sim

Associate Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid
"To our wonderful graduates: From admissions to graduation, I have enjoyed working with so many of you particularly our Student Ambassadors. Thank you for all that you have done through the years. I share your disappointment that we cannot celebrate in person, but I am with you in spirit. RAISE HIGH! "

Peter J. Smith

Peter J. Smith

Arthur Selwyn Miller Research Professor
"Congratulations! I admire the grace and determination with which you approached a very difficult semester. Best of luck in your careers, and please stay in touch. "

Daniel Justin Solove

Daniel Justin Solove

John Marshall Harlan Research Professor of Law
"Congratulations! You've achieved a terrific accomplishment. These times are difficult, but hang in there, try new things, and persist. Your future is bright. Enjoy this moment. For those of you who were my students, I'm proud to have taught you and look forward to hearing about the exciting things you'll be doing in the future. Please stay in touch! "

Patrice Sulton

Patrice Sulton

Professorial Lecturer in Law
"Congratulations on this momentous triumph! I look forward to seeing you all as colleagues, leaders, and change agents for good. "

Sonia Suter

Sonia M. Suter

John and Inge Stafford Faculty Research Professor
"Congratulations Class of 2020! Does it feel like your first day of law school was both yesterday and a lifetime ago? Think how much you have learned and accomplished since then! Hold on to your law degree and all that it stands for with pride as you join this noble profession. Remember the values that brought you to law school and helped you endure long nights studying. They will serve you well as lawyers and people. I am so proud of you!"

Andrew S. H. Ting

Andrew S. H. Ting

Professorial Lecturer in Law
"Congratulations! I wish you personal and professional fulfillment in your next life chapter!"

Kate Weisburd

Kate Weisburd

Associate Professor of Law
"Congratulations, 2020 grads!! I am so proud of y'all! You now have the keys to the castle and I can't wait to see what you all do. The world needs your skills, talents and dedication more than ever before. Stay strong, stay kind and stay in touch! We are all cheering for you. "