Todd Cheney/UCLA
Law school Dean Jennifer Mnookin, right, and Emily Scivoletto, assistant dean of student affairs, lead a procession of faculty members and graduates.

At the first of more than 50 commencement and graduation ceremonies that will be held over the next four weeks at UCLA, more than 450 jubilant graduates from the UCLA School of Law gathered Friday in Dickson Court North to be celebrated by Dean Jennifer Mnookin, their proud families, friends and teachers.

“As lawyers, you must recognize your potential to contribute to the greater good and your obligation to uphold justice,” Dean Mnookin told graduates participating in the school’s 65th commencement ceremony. “Every year, we welcome students filled with a desire to make a difference. And every year, we graduate a class with the knowledge and skills to do so. As graduates of one of the greatest law schools in the country, you are on your way to becoming leaders of our profession and of our nation.”

Joining the festivities was Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court Goodwin Liu, who gave the commencement address. Before joining the court, he was professor of law and former associate dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law. UC Regent John Perez, former speaker of the California Assembly, also addressed the graduates.

Todd Cheney/UCLA
Associate Justice Goodwin Liu of the California Supreme Court delivers the commencement address

Mnookin, who was presiding over her first commencement as dean, asked the graduates to reflect back on when they were admitted to UCLA Law. They were part of an applicant pool of more than 5,500 people seeking one of only 293 seats in the first-year class. They were later joined by 44 transfer students and 148 lawyers from 31 different countries who were enrolled in the school’s selective law degree programs

“Whether you have been here for one year or four years, you have engaged deeply in the intellectual life, heart and spirit of the UCLA Law community,” said the dean, who reminded them that they will always be able to look to the law school for guidance and inspiration.