UCI Law graduates second class of students — the Class of 2013

May 11, 2013

Rex Bossert

Class of 2013 graduates

UC Irvine School of Law celebrated its second commencement on May 11, 2013, on a beautiful spring morning in Aldrich Park.

Welcoming the audience was Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, who said he was enormously proud of the second graduating class, which he compared to a second child. He said more than 90 percent of the class participated in pro bono activities on behalf of clients who couldn’t afford legal representation. Some 17 students wore gold stoles around their necks signifying the completion of at least 200 hours of pro bono work over three years, and 17 wore gold cords representing at least 120 hours.

In his remarks, Chancellor Michael V. Drake said the law school has made great progress since its 2009 opening, fielding a faculty already ranked seventh in the nation by scholarly impact. As the UCI men’s volleyball team demonstrated in its come-from-behind victory in Game 2 of the national championship match, “taking one step at a time” is the key to success, Drake said. And that’s also what the law school has done, he said.

David Pierucci was chosen by the Class of 2013 to deliver the student address, which featured a comical description of notes he “discovered” detailing the original plans for the law school. Students also presented a Class of 2013 gift, a $30,000 check to help fund a student in the first year of a career in public interest law.

Delivering the commencement address was California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the first Asian-Filipina American and the second woman to serve as the state’s Chief Justice. She also spoke on the theme of representing the poor, saying, “Consider the Justice Gap. There is a need for your scholarship and your compassion.”

The Chief Justice also spoke of her experience leaving the law for a time to devote herself to raising a family, returning to the profession after several years of “Deep Cover,” as she put it. She said she learned that you can take time off and still return to the profession and achieve lofty goals. “You need the balance,” she said.

The core of her message was simple and direct: “Treat others like you would like to be treated … [by] acting with integrity.”

A reception was held afterward outside the Engineering Hall.

- By Rex Bossert

View video of Commencement 2013

View photos in the Commencement 2013 album on Facebook