Nashville School of Law

Nashville School of Law Celebrates the Class of 2023!

Nashville School of Law Celebrates the Class of 2023!

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Nashville School of Law celebrated its 115th Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 27, 2023, at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel.

In their first year of law school, the Class of 2023, immediately demonstrated resilience as we experienced a global pandemic.  In a time of great uncertainty, our students continued to forge ahead to achieve success, completing four years of law school.

At this year’s graduation, Aubrey B. Harwell, Jr., Chairman of the NSL Board of Trust, introduced our commencement speaker, Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Sarah Campbell.

“Henry Ford once observed that ‘most people get ahead during the time that others waste.’ That is certainly true for Nashville School of Law graduates,” said, Justice Campbell.

Throughout her speech, she praised this year’s graduates. Justice Campbell said every time she meets a Nashville School of Law student, she wonders how they are able to manage it all, giving them credit for possessing determination and plenty of grit.

“Nearly all of you attended law school while working full time. Instead of spending your evenings scrolling social media and watching Netflix, you went to class. Instead of spending your weekends catching up on sleep or going out with friends, you read cases, wrote papers, and prepared for exams. Those of you with families to care for had precious little free time to begin with, and you sacrificed enormously to earn this degree,” said Justice Campbell.

Fifty-two NSL students received their Juris Doctor degrees this year.

During the ceremony, NSL Dean William C. Koch, Jr., acknowledged Heather Rose Asbell, Cannon Elizabeth Cameron, Sjon-Paul Lee Conyer, Jenna Dyer Huff and Allison Nicole Wilson, who earned induction into the prestigious Cooper’s Inn Honor Society, reserved for those in the top 10 percent of their graduating class.

This year, Cannon Elizabeth Cameron won the Founder’s Award for having the highest-grade point average.

The Dean’s Certificate of Recognition is awarded to graduates completing 50 hours of Pro Bono Service throughout their law school career. This year we recognize Heather Asbell, Leanne Bender, Alexzandria Bouchard, Kati Coats, Jeanne Hawkins, Amber King, Shakira King, and Allison Wilson.  Their names will be submitted to the Tennessee Supreme Court to be considered as Law Students for Justice.

Receiving the Dean’s Certificate of Excellence for recording the most pro bono hours in the School’s Pro Bono Service initiative is Shakira King. 

Dean Koch then conferred the Doctor of Jurisprudence degrees upon the students before NSL Director of Recruiting and Alumni Affairs Stacey Angello read the names of each graduate as they crossed the stage to receive their diploma.

NSL graduate Ben Owen delivered a farewell message paying tribute to fellow classmates who faced a variety of additional challenges during their time in law school.

“Tenacity has been displayed in many different and inspiring ways by students in our class.  It is a single mother with four children who received her J.D. today.  It is those of us who drove from hours away three nights a week to attend class.  It is our classmates who went through childbirth and welcomed newborns into their families, and our classmates who lost loved ones and carried on through the grief.  It is our classmates who emigrated from other parts of the world and for whom English is a second language.  It is our classmates who, after working entire careers, found the drive and courage to embark on this journey, and classmates who spent their days at full-time jobs and then headed straight to school at night,” said Owen.

NSL graduate Amber King offered this year’s benediction.

In closing, Dean Koch congratulated the NSL Class of 2023 and reminded our graduates that they have the potential to create positive change.

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