Congratulations from Wayne Law

Dean Richard A. Bierschbach

Congratulations, class of 2021! You did it! Over the course of your studies here, you've impressed and amazed me over and over again in ways big and small—including, and not least, in the remarkable way you handled yourselves over the last year, which has been among the most difficult and disruptive in the history of American legal education. You've spent almost half of your Law School career in a virtual environment, but you've still infused Wayne Law with passion, optimism, and community and have given all of us the energy to keep pushing ahead as best we can for this institution and the greater good. I can't count the number of times something you have done over the past years has made me think, "I'm proud to be the dean of this Law School." Add one more time to that (very long) list: As I sit here thinking about how much I wish we could be celebrating your graduation in person today, I'm proud to be the dean of this Law School and this graduating class. And I'm especially proud of every single one of you. I can't wait to see what you will accomplish—I don't know what it will be, but I know it will be big. Thank you for being the wonderful students you have been and people you are. You will forever be part of our Wayne Law family.

Associate Dean Rachel Settlage

This has been such a hard year, and nothing like you all thought your final year of law school would look like. But you did it, and you excelled. I am awed by your adaptability, patience, and strength. Congratulations, you SO deserve it!

Associate Dean Jonathan Weinberg

Congratulations! You did it, and I'm proud of all of you.

Assistant Dean Krystal Gardner

Warmest congratulations on your hard-earned and well-deserved success! The legal profession needs more attorneys like you - smart, passionate, resourceful, resilient and compassionate. I'm grateful for the privilege of having worked with you, and I'm excited for all you will accomplish in the years ahead. Congratulations - your future is so very bright.

Professor Susan Cancelosi

Congratulations to each and every one of you! Your law school experience turned out to be so very different from what anyone could have anticipated or wanted, but you have succeeded notwithstanding all the obstacles of a pandemic and more than a year of virtual learning. You have shown extraordinary flexibility, diligence and perseverance -- all traits that will serve you well in your future careers. Best wishes to you all!!!

Rasul Raheem, '84 J.D., '03 LL.M., Chair of the Black Law Alumni Council

On behalf of the Wayne Black Law Alumni Council,  congratulations to the 2021 Wayne Law School graduates. Your futures are bright. We wish you the best of luck in your legal careers. As graduates of the law school you are officially members of the Wayne Black Law Alumni Council. Welcome!

Marilyn Kelly '71, Distinguished Jurist in Residence

My best wishes to our grads!

Professor Robert Ackerman

Congratulations to the Wayne Law Class of 2021! I have long said that our students are distinguished by a rare combination of maturity and altruism, but your class has been the paradigm, dealing with adversity and novel circumstances with persistence, aplomb, and grace. May the wind be hereafter at your back and may good fortune greet you wherever you go!

Professor Christopher Lund

Congrats! You made it! And you made it through such trying circumstances--the pandemic, the virtual classes, and so on. I admire your resilience, your strength, and your power. Go out and do great things! I know you will!

Professor Sabrina Balgamwalla

Congratulations to the Class of 2021-- you be remembered for your perseverance and spirit! Special wishes to the alums of the Asylum & Immigration Law Clinic, who put in so many hours on behalf of their clients and supported each other with encouragement and grace. Your future clients are lucky to have you.

Professor Will Ortman

Congratulations to the Class of 2021! Can't wait to see what you do next.

Professor Sanjukta Paul

My deepest congratulations to all the graduates. You've managed this achievement at quite an unusual time: I really admire how you've made the very best of a challenging situation, and have certainly enjoyed teaching you. I know you will continue to do the same with every challenging situation you may encounter in your careers. May you also enjoy the rewards, rest, and balance that you (and all people everywhere) deserve, and may you stand up for justice and right everywhere that you find yourself. 

Tishia Browning '14, Director of Employer Development

Congratulations, graduates. I am so proud of each of you for making it here. Your perseverance throughout this pandemic and in the face of unprecedented challenges says so much: you've made it to this point, and nothing can stop you now. The road here has been difficult, with each of you facing unique challenges. I hope today that you will pause, take a deep breath, and take a serious look at all you have accomplished because it is monumental. (I don't use that word lightly.) You deserve to celebrate your success. Congratulations, Wayne Law Class of 2021!

Diane Fears '89, Director of Career and Professional Development and Student Voluntary Pro Bono Program

Congratulations to the Class of 2021 on the great milestone you've achieved! I wish you health and happiness, and all the best as you embark on successful, fulfilling careers.

Jane Warkentin '02, Clinical Programs Manager, Staff Attorney

It is a remarkable and exciting time to be a lawyer! The pursuit of equal justice has never been more important for our communities, our nation, and the world. As you set out in your career, be sure to embrace any challenges you encounter just as you did your legal education: with passion and a commitment to work hard. You are ready! Welcome, Wayne Law alums, and congratulations!

Professor Kathryn Smolinski

To the Wayne Law Class of 2021 - you are amazing. You spent a large portion of your law school during one of the most difficult times in our nation's (and world's) history. And you made it!!! Congratulations! And, to those amazing LAPC students, your dedication, compassion and hard work truly made a difference in those clients and families whose lives you transformed. On behalf of them, thank you so very much.

Professor Eric Zacks

Congratulations to all of the graduates! I will always regret not being able to spend the last year with you in-person on campus, but I appreciate how hard you all tried as we worked through Zoom classes together. I am continually impressed by your professionalism and dedication to your studies and profession and know you will make us all proud as you begin your careers. Please stay in touch, and congratulations again!

Professor Lance Gable

I'm so proud of all of you. It's been a challenging pandemic year. I am inspired by how our graduating students not only adapted to these changes, but helped our entire law school community to continue to learn, grow, and support each other. I know that you will go on to do great things. Congratulations!

Professor Stephen Calkins

To the class of 2021: You are the best. In the many years I have been privileged to each at WSU, no class has faced more unusual challenges and no class has done a better job of mastering the challenges they faced. It's been a real pleasure to teach many of you, and I look forward with confidence toward great things to come.

Professor John Mogk

Dear Class of 2021, it has been a pleasure to have many of you as participants in my courses. You are bright, dedicated and destined for success in any professional avenue that you pursue. Follow your passion, work hard, take time for enjoyment and lend a helping hand to others less fortunate and you will live a rewarding life. Good luck and best wishes.

Professor Justin Long

Congratulations! I am very proud of all of you. Your diligence, love of learning, and grit inspire me!

Professor Anne Choike

Congratulations to all the graduating Business and Community Law Clinic alumni! I hope you take this time to appreciate yourselves (and family, friends, and any others) for your incredible accomplishment of finishing law school. You are all so talented, so passionate, and so capable of embracing any uncertainty that comes your or your clients' way. I cannot wait to see what wonderful and exciting things you accomplish professionally and personally! I hope that you stay in touch with the BCLC and keep us posted about your adventures after Wayne Law.

Hon. Edward Ewell Jr. '85, Board of Visitors

Great challenges create great lawyers. You should know given what you had to work through, the sky is the limit for your success!

Professor Paul Dubinsky

It has been our privilege to have taught you the law. All the very, very best. And stay in touch!

Jill Burnette-Maurice '17, Graduate Program Outreach Specialist

Congratulations to the class of 2021! I cannot wait to see all of the wonderful things you'll contribute to the legal community.

Professor Laura Bartell

Bravo to the 2021 graduates of Wayne State Law! We are proud of your accomplishments and look forward to your future achievements.

Virginia Thomas, Director of the Arthur Neef Law Library

Hats off to you, Wayne Law Graduates! Now, go out there and lead the world!

Professor Anthony Dillof

Con-GRAD-ulations! Please accept a virtual pat on the back from me to all of you. You have met the dual challenges of law school and epidemics with grace and fortitude. You well deserve your diploma and the prospect of a rewarding career practicing law. Don't be a stranger!

Jennifer Colagiovanni, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs

Congratulations to the Class of 2021! You persevered in the face of challenges no one could have anticipated and I can't wait to see what you do next. Good luck as you begin your legal careers. The future is most certainly bright! 

Kaylee Place, Director of Marketing and Communications

Congratulations, graduates! I've loved working with so many of you through Admissions, photoshoots, events and programs. The world is lucky to have legal advocates like you.

Professor Wayne Miller '79

Dear Graduates: Congratulations on your magnificent achievement! Your strength of purpose and commitment to your legal education is all the more striking given the hardships you've endured during the last several semesters of the pandemic. For those of you who have taken my class in No-Fault Insurance, you have made teaching a pleasure (thanks for bearing with me). I look forward to seeing you join us now in the wonderful and honorable practice of law. Best wishes!

I.W. Winsten '79, Board of Visitors

Congratulations on graduating and beginning your careers. Welcome to the profession.

Mary Hiller, Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications

Congratulations, grads! It's been a pleasure working with many of you over the years through student organization events, programs, etc. The class of 2021 is filled with talented and passionate advocates and leaders – you all have a bright future ahead!

Joan Verla, Event Specialist

Best of luck to all as you begin your careers!

Haley Briggs, Alumni Relations Officer

Congratulations to the Wayne Law Class of 2021. We are so proud of all that you have achieved so far and can't wait to see what the future holds for each of you. Be sure to stay connected with us as you move forward in your career!

Professor Sandra VanBurkleo

Good luck, all of you -- and especially for the fabulous participants in my American Legal History seminar. Rarely have I seen such resilience and creativity -- nothing could be nuttier than teaching a research seminar in the middle of a pandemic. But you rose to the occasion. Best of luck to all!

Professor Jerome Crawford

Class of 2021, you ARE trailblazers! After living through an unprecedented era, you all came out on TOP! Congratulations and wishing you all the best on the path forward!

Stephania Love, Student Records Clerk

CONGRATULATIONS!!! I wish you a successful and prosperous transition to your next level. Be strong, stay positive and be safe!

Peter Sugar '70, Board of Visitors

Dear graduating students. While I will try to avoid the overused allegories – "young birds leaving the nest into the wild," etc. - I want to congratulate and encourage all of you to confidently proceed into the next phase of your careers. Whether it's practice with a small or large national or international law firm, in-house, in a business rather than law focus, or any of the exciting careers open to you, I can testify from experience that your degree qualifies you to compete and perform with the best in every field! Best of luck and consider recognizing the advantage of your Wayne Law education, and perhaps supporting the institution for others going forward. After all, you make all alums look better so why not continue the record? All the best!