‘Service’ a recurring theme for 2015 Brandeis graduates

Students from Brandeis School of Law’s Class of 2015 participated in the hooding ceremony last weekend at the Brown Theatre, officially earning their Juris Doctor degrees.

The Class of 2015 performed 8,977 hours of public service. While each student is required to perform 30 hours of public service before they graduate, this class performed an average of more than 53 hours per student. This includes 23 graduates who performed 50 or more hours of public service, eight graduates who performed 100 or more hours of public service, and four students who performed more than 300 hours each.

Kathryn Cross received the Samuel L. Greenebaum Public Service Award for performing 676 hours of public service at three different public service placements.

Additionally, the Class of 2015 includes 16 graduates with masters degrees and one earning a dual degree – JD/MBA. Their undergraduates degrees are from 67 different institutions.

Twenty-five students graduated cum laude, while 12 graduated magna cum laude and one student graduated summa cum laude. Andrea Aikin is this year’s valedictorian, and is also one of the recipients of the Robert C. Jayes Memorial Award.

Sarah D. Reddick was named as the Outstanding Graduate of the Class of 2015, selected by faculty for outstanding leadership and exemplary performance in providing service to her fellow students.

Graduates’ plans

Our 2015 graduates have big aspirations. Many of them have already secured employment, while others are seeking opportunities ranging from corporate law to JAG openings to public defender work. We asked our graduates to share their plans and the recurring theme for most was service and giving back to their communities.

Here is a glimpse of what some of our grads will be up to:

"I plan to continue my community engagement in the City of Louisville and to continue being an advocate for those in need. I plan to empower young immigrant women like myself. And last but definitely not least, I plan to be a change agent in bringing peace between my two homes."

"I plan on using my Brandeis School of Law education to serve the community where I grew up: Louisville, Kentucky!"

"I plan to find a job I enjoy getting up and going to every day. And if that job benefited society and paid enough to cover my bills, that would be OK, too. I plan to continue engaging in the community of Shelbyville, where my wife and I reside. Coming to a ballot near you in 20__."

"I plan on working on Rand Paul's presidential campaign for the duration of the campaign. Eventually, I would like to be involved in some sort of public interest/non-profit work. So long as I wind up doing something that helps people, whether in the courtroom or not, I will be incredibly satisfied."

"I would like to potentially lay the groundwork for a Law School Clinic program in North Georgia akin to our (Robert and Sue Ellen Ackerson) domestic violence clinic."

"I plan to work as a trial attorney in Louisville. While my legal experience and primary interest is in practicing criminal law, I look forward to any opportunities to serve the Commonwealth and my community as an attorney."

“I sincerely wish for my legal career to be one of service. Something I have come to understand while in law school is the power an attorney has in his or her community. No case is too small to treat with respect. No client is too poor to deserve zealous advocacy. And no attorney is too important to laugh at a good lawyer joke …”