Few will argue that graduating from law school is a challenge like few others in higher education. For the 39 graduates who took part in La Verne Law’s 2014 Hooding & Commencement Ceremony on May 10, the personal sense of accomplishment was readily apparent in the joy shared with family and friends gathered in the University of La Verne’s Sports Science & Athletics Pavilion. Yet while the Class of 2014 had earned their Juris Doctor, all also knew a very difficult chore still remained: passing the bar exam. “Take today and celebrate because you’ve earned it,” said College of Law Dean Gilbert Holmes. “Just don’t stay up too late, because in less than 12 weeks you’ll be taking quite possibly the most important test of your life.” University President Devorah Lieberman praised the graduates for their commitment and perseverance. “The law school experienced many challenges during your time there. You could have gone elsewhere to finish your degree, but you chose to stay,” Lieberman said. “Thank you for believing in us.”
Keynote speaker James O. Heiting, respected lawyer and the only individual from the Inland Empire ever elected to the presidency of the State Bar of California, asked that each graduate think not only about what kind of law they wanted to practice, but what kind of lawyer they wanted to become. “It’s been said that every man is the architect of his own character,” Heiting said. “The choices you make will help establish your reputation and will define both your career and your life.” Graduates receiving honors during the ceremony included ALI-CLE Award recipients Alberto Avila, Gursharn Singh Khehra, Andrew Charles Ritter LeClere, Sarah Teresa Peach and Andrew E. Salera. Heather Anne Lewis was presented the 2014 Dean’s Award.