COVID restrictions, continued beyond original expectations, derailed planning for the 2020 commencement. This summer, a group of graduates worked with the law school to create both virtual and in-person ceremonies which took place in September.
Top graduate Hannah Clements BA’15, JD’20 inspired the graduates via Zoom, reminding them of special shared memories and encouraging them to “prioritize integrity and compassion, which we cultivated during our time at Lewis & Clark, to be an active part of a more just and equitable world.”
Anne Cox ’20 presented the 2020 Leo Levenson Award to Professor Robert Klonoff, Jordan D. Schnitzer Professor of Law. Noting his outstanding teaching style she said, “A born teacher and joyful conversationalist, his dedication to his students allows his teaching skills to take on new life.”
The virtual celebration for 2021 grads featured U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer BA ’70, JD ’76, and top graduate Michael Benjamin Smith ’21. Here is an excerpt from Smith’s charge to his classmates:
“There is no question in my mind about the type of attorney that this school produces, and perhaps for that reason most of all, I will forever remain a proud graduate of Lewis & Clark.”
We won’t always be able to take the job, or the client, we most want; we will have practical needs, and we will inevitably have to make compromises. And in any event, the world needs all kinds of lawyers.
But no matter how we use our degrees, I hope we will meet our ongoing obligation, all of us now part of a privileged group with specialized skills and knowledge, to check in with our moral compasses: acknowledging our imperfections, forgiving ourselves for our inevitable mistakes, but in our own way, carrying the spirit of this school forward, striving to better our workplaces, our communities, our country, and our planet.”
The Leo Levenson award was delivered posthumously to Professor Jeffrey Jones by Amanda Pham Haines ’21. See page 46.