Congratulations, Class of 2023!

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The University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law celebrated the graduation of the Class of 2023 the week of May 15-19.

The May 19 Hooding Ceremony at the Hippodrome Theatre was Renée McDonald Hutchins’ first as dean of Maryland Carey Law. “In this glorious moment,” she told the assemblage, “we get to take a deep breath and celebrate the accomplishments of the great Class of 2023.” 

Hutchins also introduced the keynote speaker, former Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, calling out the history of partnerships between the law school and Frosh, including cooperation on cases involving environmental protection and a program through which clinic students work in the attorney general’s office on consumer protection issues.  

In his address, Frosh encouraged graduates to use their JDs to improve lives. “You have the ability to be agents of change,” he said. “The law is your tool, and you should use it as a force for good, a force for justice.”  

Additionally, day program class president Kaska Watson and evening division president Samantha Safchinsky offered reflections on their law school experiences. 

Students officially graduated at the May 18 University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) commencement ceremony, where UMB president Dr. Bruce Jarrell conferred degrees on the 2023 JD, LLM, and MSL candidates.  

The ceremony included a video featuring graduating students from each of UMB’s seven schools. Representing Maryland Carey Law was Courtney Bergan ‘23, a Law and Health Care student who graduated magna cum laude, was inducted into the Order of the Coif, and received Maryland Carey Law’s Public Service Award. Bergan highlighted the benefit of earning their JD on a prominent public health campus. 

“One of the things I have really valued is working across schools,” Bergan said, “being able to work with physical therapy students and social work students and medical students and come up with solutions with people who are coming at things from a very different perspective than maybe a law student would have.” 

Members of the high-achieving Class of 2023 were honored the previous day in Maryland Carey Law’s annual Recognition Ceremony where graduation prizes, Latin Honors, and Order of the Coif inductees were announced.  

To welcome the Class of 2023 to the alumni community, the Maryland Carey Law School Club (MCLSC), comprising philanthropic leaders, hosted a champagne toast for the class earlier in the week. MCLSC committee co-chairs Letam Duson ’13, Barry Herman ’99, and Joanne Pollak ’76 offered short remarks. The fourth co-chair Xochitl Strohbehn ’09 was unable to attend. Other speakers were Hutchins and Student Bar Association President Meg Tippett ’23, who spearheaded the Carey Forward campaign through which the Class of 2023 raised the greatest pre-graduation class gift to date.  

Hutchins offered the toast, telling graduates, “From the moment you started your law school journey, you became part of the Maryland Carey Law community. Now as graduates, you are also part of our diverse community of alumni who are practitioners, scholars, civil servants, advocates, activists, authors and much more. Welcome to the Maryland Carey Law alumni family.”