In the keynote address at Boalt’s 2005 commencement ceremony, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom encouraged law school graduates to take risks, “do what’s right,” and pursue an activist role on behalf of social justice causes. “Social justice movements are advanced primarily through the courts and advanced primarily through the courage of people like you,” Newsom told some 350 law school graduates gathered on May 14 at the Hearst Greek Theatre at UC Berkeley.
Newsom, who attracted international attention last year when he directed city officials to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, received a standing ovation following his speech. In her commencement remarks, faculty speaker Angela P. Harris described to graduates the “amazing and humbling privilege we have to speak for others” as lawyers.
Speaking at his first Boalt graduation exercise since assuming the deanship last summer, Christopher Edley welcomed students, families and friends to “a day of enormous joy.” Student speakers included Sara Benson ’05, representing LL.M. students; and Class of 2005 co-presidents Ritu Bhatnagar ’05 and Javier Rivera ’05. Recipients of student awards included: Todd Gluth ’05 (Thelen, Marrin Prize for Academic Achievement); Elizabeth Kennedy ’05 (Thelen, Marrin Prize for Law Journal Writing); Guy Johnson ’05 (Student Service Award); Noura Erakat ’05 and Nora Preciado ’05 (Francine Diaz Memorial Award); and Azra Medjedovic ’05 (Stephen Finney Jamison Prize).