MAY 10, 2020 — The annual May commencement ceremony for the Charleston School of Law was held virtually this year to allow for the safety of students, families, and faculty due to the coronavirus. An in-person ceremony is planned for October 2020.
The 195 students who received their Juris Doctor degrees have worked through unprecedented disruption during their last semester of law school. After in-person classes were suspended on March 18, students attended class via Zoom, demonstrating their adaptability, resilience, and perseverance during an uncertain time in our nation’s history, said Dean Andy Abrams.
In the pre-recorded ceremony, in his commencement address entitled “Baseball Bats, Brownies, and Being Dean of the Charleston School of Law,” Dean Abrams speaks to the power of courage, compassion, friendship, and family in honor of the graduates and their dedication to their futures in the face of unusual challenges.
This will be Abrams last graduation as dean of the law school after 12 years in the position. He will remain on the faculty full-time starting Fall 2020, and Larry Cunningham will take over as the new dean starting July 2020.
During the pandemic, Abrams has been a compassionate academic leader, providing students with daily emails and batches of homemade brownies for students to pick up from his porch once school shut down. The brownies offered students a tangible connection to the school and comforted them while they conducted their studies.
Despite the disruption of the last few months, this graduating class has continued the Charleston School of Law tradition of “pro bono populi,” or “for the good of the people,” logging an additional 13,066 hours of pro bono service, making for a total of 223,934 service hours since the school’s inception.
President Ed Bell said this year’s graduates should be particularly proud of themselves for persevering in the face of adversity.
“I am proud of our students for maintaining focus as they worked to finish their juris doctor degrees,” he said. “And I’m proud of our faculty for continuing to be as dedicated as ever in supporting our students during this challenging time.”
The virtual ceremony will be available at 12 p.m. on May 10 and will remain online at the following link: www.charlestonlaw.edu/virtualgraduation