May 11, 2009 13:13 Age: 5 yrs

Emory Law Celebrates Class of 2009

Emory University celebrated the 164th Commencement Monday, May 11, 2009. More than 220 law school graduates were honored during the Emory Law Hooding and Diploma Ceremony on the South Lawn of Gambrell Hall. Dean David F. Partlett and Halli Cohn 90L, president of the Emory Law Alumni Association, made the opening remarks.

“Success in the legal profession that you’re about to enter directly depends on what you put into it,” Cohn said. “The ultimate success is dependent on hard work and perseverance.”

During the ceremony, the 3L Class Gift Committee presented a check for $73,560 to Emory Law. The class gift will be used to endow an annual Spring 3L Career Fair and help furnish the "Top Shelf" patio on the west side of Gambrell Hall.

In addition to the conferral of degrees, select students and faculty were honored in an awards presentation during the ceremony.

Professor of Law Robert Schapiro was awarded the Emory Williams Teaching Award. Established in 1972 by Emory Williams, a 1932 graduate of Emory College, the award is given to the faculty member who embodies the very best a professional school has to offer.

Emory Law’s Most Outstanding Professor Award was presented to Dorothy Brown, a recent senior faculty appointment whose expertise is in tax law and critical race theory.

In her address to the graduating class, Professor Brown discussed the importance of embracing uncertainty. “Uncertainty creates the space for you to pause and ask, ‘what do I really want to do with my career? What am I passionate about?’” she said.

Additionally, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law Martha L. A. Fineman is the recipient of Emory University’s Scholar/Teacher Award. Presented annually by the Board of Higher Education of the United Methodist Church, this award recognizes an Emory University faculty member who has excelled as a classroom teacher, shown unusual concern for students and made significant contributions to the scholarly life of the University.

Brent Douglas 09L was chosen as this year’s Most Outstanding Third-Year Student.

“The need for law remains and in fact rises in times of need,” Douglas said. “In broad terms, I assert that every lawyer has an obligation to ensure that all persons subject to our laws are viewed equally before them.”

Currey Hitchens 09L was the recipient of the A. James Elliott Community Service Award—a new award honoring the contributions of Emory Law Professor Jim Elliott 66L. Terri Porter was the recipient of the Gloria Jean Fowler Angel Award, which recognizes a student who embodies the kindness and grace of former Emory Law employee Gloria Jean Fowler.

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