Surrounded by families, friends and faculty, dozens of La Verne Law graduates who passed the July 2012 California Bar Examination were sworn in as attorneys in a ceremony that celebrated the end of their years-long journeys as students and the beginning of their professions.

“This is the starting point of the next 50 years of your career,” La Verne Law Dean Philip A. Hawkey said as he presented the 35 students attending who passed the exam. “You have demonstrated that you have the intellectual ability, the critical reading and writing skills, and the habit of hard work that will ensure your success. We are very proud of you. We expect great things. We expect you to continue to be involved in La Verne Law.”

As relatives and friends snapped photographs, graduates raised their right hands and took the oaths of office for the California State Bar and the United States District Court, Central District.

“You have entered an honorable profession. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise,” said The Honorable Douglas P. Miller, Justice, Fourth District Court of Appeal, who administered the oath for California. “In some sense it’s not about you. It’s about your client and that’s what you spent three years learning the law for so you could walk into a courtroom and represent somebody who can’t represent himself. Do it zealously.”

After administering the federal oath, The Honorable David T. Bristow, United States Magistrate, praised the caliber and diversity of La Verne Law and said he hopes the new attorneys will practice in the Inland Empire.

“It’s important that the people out here have the best representation they can get,” he said.

The college was buzzing with excitement as the new attorneys mingled, talked about their plans, and chatted with professors during a reception in the Frank J. Mistretta Family Foyer. “There’s a palpable sense of joy in the building right now,” said Tiffany Graham, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Professor Kevin Marshall said the honorees now know they can conquer a difficult task; that’s an important lesson from law school that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives, he said. “What you see for the first time is a prideful relief, a sense that they really are ready to go out into the world and be something special,” he said.

Graduates Pooja Patel and Armond Havan said they felt well-prepared for the exam. Patel said the civil litigation and bar strategy classes were particularly helpful. During the three-day exam, La Verne Law offered the same personal touch that it did during law school, renting a separate room and providing students with lunches and energy drinks.

“We went in together and we achieved it together,” Havan said. “Without that I think it would have been more difficult.”

Rachael Alcorn said she went into the exam feeling as prepared as she could be. She was ecstatic when she received the results.

“It’s the final culmination of everything I’ve worked for,” she said. “It’s an overwhelming experience but an incredibly exciting one. I’m so thrilled that I can finally get the ball rolling on my career.”


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