Earlier this year, Michael P. Bellis (JD ’23) and Kathleen Naccarato (JD ’24), two Northwestern Pritzker School of Law students, won awards for submitting the best papers in their respective Law ...
On Friday, May 12, 643 graduates from 35 places around the globe joined faculty, family, and friends for the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law’s 2023 convocation ceremony at the Chicago Theatre.
Presiding over the ceremony, Dean Hari Osofsky welcomed the graduates to the Northwestern Pritzker Law alumni community. “Today, we are honoring and celebrating an extraordinary achievement—our graduates’ successful completion of a rigorous legal education program,” she said. “This would be a major achievement at any time, and these graduates have done so while facing major challenges. Our JD graduates began law school at the peak of the pandemic on Zoom and many of our graduates from all of our programs have faced difficult personal circumstances. The Class of 2023 has shown resiliency, support for one another, and leadership that has made such a difference. We are so proud of you and it is with great pleasure that we celebrate and recognize our amazing graduates.”
Provost Kathleen Hagerty also addressed the crowd. “Today we gather in deep gratitude and joy to celebrate the completion of this remarkable journey,” she said. “As provost, I am keenly aware of the effort and determination that it took each of you to arrive at this moment, not just during your years at Northwestern, but over a lifetime of work. At [Northwestern Pritzker Law], you’ve chosen the very best place to learn about the critical aspects of practicing law, and I hope you carry them forward through a lifetime of service to society.”
Sherrese Smith (JD ’96), managing partner at Paul Hastings LLP in Washington, D.C., delivered the keynote address. Smith is renowned for her superior advisement on crisis issues and, as a result, is regularly sought after by corporate board members and the C-suite. She previously served as vice chair of Paul Hastings LLP’s Data Privacy and Cybersecurity practice and is known as one of the country’s preeminent data privacy and cybersecurity and media and technology attorneys.
“If you take anything away from today’s speech, I hope that it is this: As you sit here today, you don’t need to know where you are going to end up exactly where you need to be,” Smith said. “First, you got here because you are smart and talented and you will do what it takes to win. Second, you have the support of your peers. Look around. You have gone through the last few years with each other and you are forever bonded by this special experience. Third, look around at your family members who are here with you today. They have been here and will always be there for you and will support you in ways that have nothing to do with the law.”
Before joining Paul Hastings, Smith served as Chief Counsel to Chairman Julius Genachowski at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). She was responsible for determining the agency’s business and policy agenda on a multitude of media and technology matters. She led the FCC’s cross‑agency efforts to refine and implement new rules on data privacy and cybersecurity for multinational companies navigating complex data and privacy rules in the U.S., EU, and Asia. Smith’s work also involved extensive interaction with external stakeholders, including wireless, media, cable, and telecommunications companies; industry groups and trade associations; federal and state agencies; and Congress.
Smith serves on the Board of Directors of NortonLifeLock and Cable ONE. She is also a member of the Northwestern University’s Law School board, a member of the University of Maryland’s Journalism School board, and a member of America’s Public Television Stations executive board.
In addition to Smith, student speakers Bradford McGann (JD ’23), Daniel Caballero (LLM ’23), and Kevin James Ingram (MSL ’23) addressed their fellow graduates. Dean of Students Susie Spies Roth (BA ’01, JD ’06) concluded the ceremony.
On Wednesday, May 10, the Law School hosted the Class of 2023 Awards Ceremony and Last Lecture. During the ceremony, faculty and student awards were presented. Emily Kadens, Edna B. and Ednyfed H. Williams Memorial Professor of Law, delivered the last lecture of the school year. Members of the Graduation Committee presented the following teaching awards to:
Outstanding Adjunct Professor
Michael Y. Scudder, Adjunct Professor of Law
Outstanding First-Year Course Professors
David A. Dana, Kirkland & Ellis Professor of Law
Nadav Shoked, Professor of Law
Outstanding Professor of a Small Class
Wendy Muchman, Professor of Practice
Robert R. Wootton Award for Teaching Excellence in the LLM Tax Program
Ari Glogower, Professor of Law
MSL Outstanding Residential Professor
Lynn P. Cohn, Clinical Professor of Law, Co-Director, Center on Negotiation, Mediation, and Restorative Justice
MSL Outstanding Online Professor
Darren Green, Professor of Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital and Practice, Faculty, Donald Pritzker Entrepreneurship Law Center
Robert Childres Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence
Emily Kadens, Edna B. and Ednyfed H. Williams Memorial Professor of Law
The student awards were presented to:
Sarah Elizabeth Wolf-Knight
Global Legal Profession Award
Legal Profession Award
Sarah W. Chase
Leigh B. Bienen Prize
Jacqueline Marie O’Brien
Rachael Kristina Cox
Hannah Ruth Friedle
Grant Limbert Glazebrook
MSL Residential Student Award
Isaac Ross Meng
MSL Online Student Award
Patrick Ryan Daniel Adams
Marian Virginia Woznica
Victor Rosenblum Awards
Waded Mobarak de la Cruz
Franco Jofre Ricignuolo
Northwestern Pritzker Law’s 2023 graduating class includes 260 candidates for JD degrees and 27 candidates for joint JD-MBA degrees, 141 candidates for LLM degrees, 45 candidates for the Master of Law Joint Program degrees, 39 candidates for LLM degrees in taxation, five candidates for LLM degrees in international human rights, and 124 candidates for MSCL degrees. Other degrees presented include two candidates for Master of Studies in Law.
Watch the full Convocation ceremony here.
Last week, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law welcomed incoming students to the Law School with a week of campus-wide events to celebrate the start of the 2023-24 academic year.
Two teams from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law won the regional competition for the National Trial Competition and the Monroe E Price Media Law Moot Court Competition, respectively. Both have ...