“Law school is the bridge from your aspirations to realizations,” said Widener Law Dean Linda L. Ammons
to incoming 1st year law students on the Delaware campus at a Welcome to the Profession Ceremony held at the Doubletree hotel on Monday, August 15th. 1st year Harrisburg students had their own Welcome to the Profession Ceremony on Tuesday, August 16th.
In remarks to students on the Harrisburg campus, Dean Ammons noted that the incoming class of 160 law students represented 91 colleges and universities and came from 21 different states. She also discussed some of the diverse careers held by members of the incoming class, ranging from police detective and paralegal to gymnastics coach, guitar teacher, and Pennsylvania District Judge.
At the Delaware ceremony, Dean Ammons observed that the Delaware campus students represented 152 colleges and 19 states and came from a diverse range of backgrounds and careers. She also mentioned that among the students in the class were a Fire Captain, a High School Principal, a Medical Doctor, an MTV Production Assistant, and a former U.S. Skating Champion.
Students at both ceremonies had the opportunity to hear from Widener Law alumni as well.
"It is absolutely critically important that you apply yourselves over the next nine months. Why? Because the first year determines everything," said alumnus Sean Welby ’92 at the Harrisburg ceremony. He noted of his own experiences, “For the first time in my academic life I found something worthy of putting all of myself into, and that was the law."
On the Delaware campus, Alumni Association President Renae B. Axelrod encouraged students by saying, “I’m here to tell you that you can do it,” and she strongly encouraged each and every one of them to get involved in the greater Widener Law community. Delaware Student Bar Association
President Andrew Quietmeyer also spoke, encouraging the students to take advantage of every opportunity presented to them before he introduced the other members of the SBA Board.
Both ceremonies ended with oaths administered by judges. The Honorable Renee Cohn Jubelirer of the Commonwealth Court administered the oath at the Harrisburg ceremony. In her remarks before giving the oath, she noted that without the ethical and honest work of attorneys that people’s inalienable rights are at risk, adding, "People will come to you as a lawyer to help them. They will place their fate in your hands and their faith in your ability." Of the law school experience, she said, "The skills you learn here will form the foundation of your entire legal career.”
The Honorable Chandlee Johnson Kuhn, a 1988 graduate of Widener Law recalled her own experiences as a student at Widener Law before administering the oath to the assembled students. “You are privileged to become a member of the legal community,” she said, adding, “We are entrusted with people’s lives.” She also stressed the importance of a lawyer’s reputation before concluding, “This is the beginning of the rest of your life. Enjoy it.”