Left to right: Kaila Clark ’20, Tiara Bertram ’20 and Luíza Richter LLM ’20 

05.21.20 — Fearless but not flawless, Northeastern Law welcomed almost 1,000 participants across Zoom and YouTube to a live, virtual commencement celebration of the Class of 2020 on Thursday, May 21, 2020. More than 200 JD, LLM and MLS graduates were joined by family and friends from the across the globe for the festivities, which included remarks by students, faculty and staff as well as celebratory videos to mark the occasion. 

“While we cannot be together in person, this is still a day of celebration for one of the most significant moments of your lives,” Dean James Hackney told the graduates in his opening remarks. “We are so proud of what you have accomplished over the past three years ... and, of course, meeting the challenges of the last three months.”

When technical difficulties threatened to derail a video featuring faculty and staff greetings to the graduates, Assistant Dean Michelle Harper, host of the event, skipped not a beat: “Like any good attorney, we’re going to think on our feet, were going to step up to the plate, and were going to move on because we can work on the fly.

And, so the show did go on ... to three brilliant, warm and inspiring students, elected by classmates to deliver commencement addresses in the pre-pandemic era. 

“I am grateful to know that our collective impact as laywers will be felt in every corner of the earth, said Kaila Clark ’20. There are no limits to the depths of what we will accomplish individually or collectively.” 

Tiara Bertram ’20 reminded her classmates of the significance of this milestone and expressed her gratitude for their enduring commitment to social justice: Thank you for your empathy for humanity which is what drove you to do this.

“We must use our knowledge and our voice to ensure justice for all of humanity," said Luíza Richter LLM ’20. 

And, since the third time really can be a charm, the faculty and staff greetings video survived its technical difficulties and played perfectly when Harper reintroduced it. 

Professor Margaret Burnham, who was elected by the graduating class as faculty speaker, provided stirring closing remarks to the students: “You leave here fortified by your training, with a voice far stronger and steadier than it was three years ago.”

The staff and faculty tribute video and the commemorative video (spoiler alert: Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey ’98 had something to say, too!) that were broadcast as part of the live celebration can both be viewed below.

Video Tribute: Celebrating the Class of #NUSL2020

Northeastern Law Faculty and Staff Salute the Class of #NUSL2020

As it Happened: Watch the Virtual Commencement Ceremony in Full

About Northeastern University School of Law

The nation’s leader in experiential legal education since 1968, Northeastern University School of Law offers the longest-running, most extensive experience-based legal education program in the country and is a national leader in legal education reform. Founded with cooperative legal education as the cornerstone of its program, Northeastern guarantees its students unparalleled practical legal work experiences. All students participate in full-time legal placements, and can choose from the more than 1,500 employers worldwide participating in the school’s signature Cooperative Legal Education Program. Northeastern University School of Law blends theory and practice, providing students with a unique set of skills and experience to successfully practice law.

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