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.




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

Alison Ridder at Duke's graduation, 2005















kwak family

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

marchaun graduates from northeastern

I'm equally proud of all my graduates. They all worked hard to take giant steps forward in their lives. But I'm flattered when someone thinks of me in the nostalgic moments that invariably accompany graduation. Marchaun wasn't my admissions client, but he took my Intro to Law School class, and I'm glad to see that he considers me to be part of his success story. I won't make it to the graduation, but I hope to see him in Boston a few weeks later, when I attend the NAPLA conference.


Monica Cloud

 Monica Cloud was last seen representing Washburn at one of the Law Forums.  I must admit that she's one of the few people I've seen who looks good after three years of law school!

Vermont Law School

Hassan Parrish won the "Most Memorable Phone Call" award the day he was admitted to Vermont Law School.  He was so shocked he was tongue-tied!  I hope Harold (his dad) was as proud of Hassan at graduation as he was when his son began law school.


Marisa Perry sent me an invitation to her graduation from Michigan. The main reason I didn't go is that Marisa has been one of my most loyal alumna; I've seen her every single year since she started law school, visited her and her husband Winston Collier in Chicago, and dined with them at Reza's until it's become a tradition for us.


Dan's mother Marlene either sent me an invitation that I misplaced, or told me all about it over the phone. "All about it" includes Dan's refusing to release any photos, because he's positive (and rightly so) that Mom will paper the living room walls with them.

But don't worry, he has his own page here!

Alison perez's Graduation Ammouncement

I flew to St. Louis and drove five hours to attend this graduation. I know that Alison has a stellar future.

She, too, has her own page in my success stories.

Martin Broadway was one of my many great students back when I was in North Carolina.  He worked a few years after college, before going off to law school.  It's great to see that he's starting a new career.

2005 Update:  Martin emailed me:

"I haven't visited your site in a while, but I see it has grown. I am really impressed. As you know, I graduated law school last May from NC Central and just passed the North Carolina Bar! I couldn't have done it without you!"

Announcement of Aggie Davis's Graduation from Cleveland State

Every client is special to me, for many different reasons. Aggie will always stand out as the one who drove to every Hilton in Chicago until she found me! Such determination deserves its reward.

Alician Tomolo's graduationa Announcement


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