If you happen upon a turtle on a fence post, you may safely presume that it did not get there without some help. Like that turtle, when you encounter a truly professional lawyer, you may also presume that she or he did not master the art of lawyering without some help. This edition of The Torch celebrates persons who have built bridges enabling others to have rewarding and meaningful legal careers and who have perpetuated and passed down the finest traditions of the practice of law to those coming after them.
Sixty-four graduates received their Juris Doctor degrees in May. Speaking on behalf of his fellow graduates, Andrew Bellm acknowledged the help and support the class received from the School’s faculty and staff and their employers, family members, and friends. He particularly thanked the faculty, saying “[W]ithout your dedication and knowledge, this journey through law school would not be possible.” Mr. Bellm is correct. Our faculty
is, and always will be, the foundation of the School’s and our graduates’ success.
Several weeks later, at the 25th anniversary of our Annual Recognition Dinner, we celebrated the men and women who have been recognized over the years for their professional skills, their commitment to our School, and their contributions to the practice of law and the broader community. What a distinguished group they are — 36 graduates, 32 professors, and six recipients of the Community Service Award. While each individual honoree’s contributions are unique, they all share a demonstrated commitment to professionalism in the practice of law and a desire to help others.
As our School looks ahead to its next century of service, it is fitting to acknowledge the help we have received since 1911. Our four founders created our School to be a bridge to the practice of law for working men and women. The members of our Board of Trustees have wisely and successfully guided our School through dramatic changes in legal education and the practice of law. We would not be able to continue to accomplish our historic mission were it not for the leadership and vision of persons like Tom Cone, Douglas Fisher, and Aubrey Harwell, as well as all their current and former colleagues on the Board. The four deans who preceded me kept our School moving in the right direction for more than a century. The members of our faculty have freely shared their time and talent with our students. Finally, our graduates and other supporters have advanced our mission with their financial gifts and their willingness to mentor our students during law school and after they enter the practice of law.
The theme of helping others runs through this edition of The Torch. As you read it, I hope you will not only recall those who have helped you, but that you also will be inspired to redouble your commitment to be a bridge builder and mentor yourself.
William C. Koch, Jr.
President and Dean
Read the online version of the latest edition of The Torch here (click lower right to make full screen viewer). We’d love to share your news in the upcoming edition of The Torch. Submit your Class Notes alumni updates here.