The winter 2016 term is winding down with students taking final exams over the next 10 days. And our 2015-16 LL.M. class is preparing for Commencement on Monday, May 16, when they will walk across the stage to the standing ovation from parents and friends, many of whom will travel here from abroad to celebrate this important day in their students' lives.
The faculty at the Law School find Commencement a truly special occasion. We march in through the packed auditorium and enjoy looking out on the glowing and happy faces of students and families. We love hearing the families cheer for their students when their names are called and enjoy even more getting to meet parents in the sprawling reception after the ceremony ends. I always am delighted when a student comes up to me to introduce me to his or her family members. It makes for the perfect end to a celebratory day.
The spring weather is also a welcome change from the grayness and cold of winter. Tulips, daffodils, pear trees and cherries are in full bloom. The redbud tree in my side yard has burst into color, and even the strawberries in my backyard garden are starting to show bloom buds.
That welcome burst of color accompanies a surge of new energy, as the Law School plans for its fall 2016 entering LL.M. class. Admissions decisions are continuing, and merit scholarships will be offered to a select group of students with especially promising resumes.
For many international students, taking classes at an American law school can be a culture shock, as our classroom participatory expectations and legal writing requirements may differ considerably from those at the home institution. Therefore, over the summer, international students will receive instructions from Delores Mayer, our legal writing specialist, who will work with international LL.M. students on core aspects of legal writing, research, note-taking and exam procedures.
All students will be welcome a week before classes begin for the summer orientation program, when new LL.M. students will mingle with new J.D. students and transfers and have an opportunity to participate in various social events and sessions designed to introduce students to key officers and faculty in the Law School.
Congratulations again to our graduating LL.M. students, and I look forward to seeing you at Commencement.
Linda McKissack Beale
Professor of Law
Director of Graduate Studies
May 2, 2016