"This is a dream come true," said Michael E. Cosgrove '14, one of more than 60 California Western alumni who took the Oath of Professional Conduct and were sworn into the federal and state bars on Wednesday, December 3.
The mood was joyous at a celebration breakfast held at the Marriott Marquis hotel downtown where the law school honored the large group of alumni who passed the July California Bar Exam.
"We share the joy with you today," said California Western President and Dean Niels B. Schaumann as he congratulated the new lawyers. "We've been rooting you on every step and we look forward to you having rewarding careers."
"You have shown your academic mettle—you've passed the most difficult bar exam in the country," said Jeffrey D. Lewin '75, Chairman of the California Western Board of Trustees.
California Western alumni passed the bar exam at a rate of 71.2 percent and the law school's graduates have met or exceeded the statewide average for first-time takers from ABA-accredited law schools 13 of the past 14 years. In all, 126 California Western graduates passed the July exam.
"What kind of lawyer am I going to be? It's a fundamental question you should answer for yourself now," Superior Court Judge Michael B. Orfield '77 told the graduates in a rousing and inspiring talk just before he administered the oath. "The civility and professionalism you swear to when you take the oath is a much higher calling. Civility is strength."
"This is the culmination of all my childhood dreams,"said Brittney R. Dobbins '14. "It is unbelievable that I am about to become an attorney!"
"This is like my real graduation," said Mitchell G. Miller '14, a clerk at the Legal Aid Society. "I've been building toward this moment for such a long time."
"I sat next to some of my classmates who are here today at orientation three years ago," said Lauren E. Foley '14, former Student Bar Association president. "And I have so much pride standing next to them today—on a day that is so exciting and promising for all of us."
"This means the world to me," added Cosgrove, a former nuclear submarine technician in the U.S. Navy. He is a graduate law clerk at the San Diego City Attorney's Office who is hoping to become a prosecutor. His advice to military personnel or veterans thinking about becoming attorneys: "the military instilled the discipline, resolve, and dedication it takes to succeed in law school."
California Western School of Law congratulates all alumni who passed the recent bar exams in California and other states.