Brooklyn Law School welcomes entering class

August 23, 2017 By Paul Frangipane Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The nearly 400 students entering Brooklyn Law School. Eagle photos by Paul Frangipane.
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Hundreds of brand new Brooklyn Law School students gathered in Brooklyn’s federal court ceremonial courtroom and were welcomed into the school with advice, oaths and jokes on Tuesday.

“This school has a very illustrious past and because of you, it will have an illustrious future,” Chief Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals Robert Katzmann told the class.

The 2017 entering class consists of 371 students ranging in age from 19 to 50.

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There was ample talk about the legacy of the school that was founded in 1901, and that has collected more than 20,000 alumni, providing an inspiration for the fresh students to add to the pool.

The mood in the room was treated consistently with serious advice and playful humor.

Professor of Law David Reiss focused his speech on oaths, getting the students to take the oath as a group.

He peppered his words with quotes from “Green Lantern” and “Lord of the Rings,” setting up Vice Dean Steven Dean to introduce another trilogy.

To combat the confusion of students calling him Dean Dean, he pulled out an C3P0 toy from below the podium.

“You may, but are no means required, to call me D2,” Dean said as the crowd erupted in laughter.

As the master of ceremonies, Dean shared with the students some facts about themselves.

The group is diverse, coming from countries such as India, Nigeria, Dominican Republic, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and the United Kingdom.

They speak 33 languages other than English and 63 speak at least three languages.

The group is comprised of students from 193 colleges and 71 majors.

As they waited in line to enter the courtroom and as they socialized after the ceremony, students could often be heard asking each other where they were from or what schools they attended.

“Your fellow students are your greatest asset here at Brooklyn Law School,” Dean said.

The class was appropriately introduced to a fellow student and president of the student bar association, Giancarlo Martinez, of the class of 2018.

As he warned students of the challenges they will face, Martinez put one piece of advice above all.

“Don’t forget who you were before you started your journey here,” he said. “Make sure you’re happy with you.”

Dean Nicholas Allard gave the final speech, confessing to the class that he might not understand their generation, but he urged them to take care of each other and “play well in the sandbox.”

Before concluding the ceremony, he offered them a piece of modern-day advice, to “stay woke.”

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