Graduation Day!

I have to confess that I'm really as schmaltzy in real life as I appear on these web pages.  I hate playing favorites, so I rarely attend a ceremony, but sometimes I let the place lure me away from my desk. And when I do, I'm as emotional as any parent. I cry at the processions, toast the grads, the parents, the spouses and children.  I know that law school is grueling for the affluent, Herculean for the less privileged.

To these and all the other graduates,


The first graduation I attended was Julie's, back in Philly around 1987. I don't have any pictures of that one (or rather, I did, but it was one of those embarrassing screw-ups I'd rather not discuss).

I don't think I went to Michael Hicks's graduation, but I went to his Phi Beta Kappa ceremony, which was just as much of a milestone.
nikki james gilchrist

Nikki James graduated from William Mitchell Law School around 2002. Her family drove up from North Carolina for the big day. I recall crying all over the Dean of Students as I thanked him for admitting her three years earlier.

Her best friend at school had a large Italian family, and invited us to join them in the big party. It was as delightful to see how well the two families got along as it was to congratulate the grads.

In 2005 I got an offer I couldn't refuse: two graduates at the same school!

Allison Ridder received two degrees from Duke, her J.D. and her Masters in Environmental Science and Policy.  

After a year or two of policy work, she's returned to NYC so that she could join her classmates in experiencing the exhaustion of biglaw.  

Dad Rob Ridder still drops me a line now and then to keep me updated, and I always look forward to his call.  

I also got to help Allison's brother with his B-School apps, my first venture into GMAT tutoring in recent years.

Alison Ridder at Duke's graduation, 2005
















Dean of Admissions Dennis Shields took a moment out of a busy night to pose for us with the entirekwak family
Kwak family -- Uncle Kwanjin, Oma, Sam, Apa, and Maria.  
(Oma and Apa are Mom and Dad in Korean.)  

Sometimes the mother of the grad is even happier than the graduate himself!  


In 2009, Allison Perez graduated from Iowa, and I took the opportunity to tour the Great Plains, adding another eight notches to my "Law Schools Visited" belt.

aloson perez graduates from Iowa

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