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Wake Forest University School of Law confers hoods on the class of 2009

Wake Forest University School of Law conferred hoods on 159 graduates on Sunday afternoon in Wait Chapel.

The law school’s 35th annual hooding speaker Robert Ehrlich Jr. (JD ’82), former governor of Maryland and member of the U.S. House of Representatives, told the graduates and their families and friends that as a result of the students’ new status as lawyers, they had a number of obligations to fulfill and the first was to be ethical. "Use common sense when tested," he said. "Most ethical calls are not black and white but gray."

Ehrlich, who was Maryland’s 60th governor, serving from 2003-07, and who was elected to Congress in 1994, added that the graduates should appreciate the power that was being bestowed up them and live up to their moral and professional obligation to give back. "Live up to your commitment to your community and you will be better off for it," he said.

Finally, Ehrlich encouraged the graduates to pursue public service in the form of public office, conduct themselves properly and to be balanced in life. "Your dilemma is to figure out if 2,300 billable hours a year is worth your marriage or missing a Little League game," he said. "I wish you the best of luck to finding personal and professional happiness."

Law School Dean Blake Morant told that graduates that he is confident that each one of the class of 2009 will be heroes. "I hope you will take with you the very important lessons of integrity, duty, morality and professionalism," he said. "Always do well and do good."

The ceremony, which including the bestowing of numerous awards, was followed by the Dean’s Hooding Reception in the Bridger Field House at BB&T Field. Among the award winners were:

  • William T. Miller received the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Award from the North Carolina Chapter.
  • Cerene Oceana Setliff received the American Bankruptcy Institute Award, which is given to the most outstanding student in Debtor-Creditor Law.
  • Kathryn Elizabeth Roebuck received the American Bar Association Section of Urban, State, and Local Government Law award, which is given to the student in Land Use Regulation who achieves the highest grade in the course.
  • Steven Spencer Elg received the American Bar Association and The Bureau of National Affairs Award for Excellence in the Study of Intellectual Property Law copyrights, which is given to the student who achieves the highest grade in the course.
  • Elizabeth Katherine Isbey and Jonathan Jay Kandel received the American Bar Association and The Bureau of National Affairs Award for Excellence in the Study of Labor and Employment Law for employment law, which is given to the students who achieve the highest grade in the course.
  • Janet Rebekah Smith received the American Bar Association and The Bureau of National Affairs Award for Excellence in the Study of Health Law, which is given to the student who achieves the highest grade in the course.
  • Meredith Willett Jones received the Dean’s Award, which is given to honor the extraordinary contributions of a student leader.
  • James A. Dean received the E. McGruder Faris Memorial Award and $200 cash, which is given to the student exhibiting the highest standards of character, leadership, and scholarship.
  • Meredith Willett Jones received the Forsyth County Women Attorney’s Association Book Award, which is presented annually to an outstanding female graduate based upon her academic achievements, leadership, service to community, professionalism and commitment to the legal profession.
  • Monica J. Julian received the Laura J. Gendy Award, a new award that was established by alumni, family and friends of Laura J. Gendy (JD’ 00) to provide an annual cash award in the amount of $500 to a graduating law student who exemplifies integrity, compassion for others and strength of character that were the hallmarks of Gendy, who died in August 2008.
  • Karl Joseph Amelchenko and Arthur Robert Bookout received the Robert Goldberg Award in Trial Advocacy, which honors the memory of Robert Goldberg, a student at the School of Law, who was killed in World War II. It is an annual cash award in the amount of $3,000 given to the students showing the highest aptitude and ethics in trial advocacy.
  • Andrew Thomas Miller received the I. Beverly Lake Award, which was established in honor of I. Beverly Lake Sr., professor of law at Wake Forest University, practicing attorney, assistant attorney general of North Carolina 1951-1955, and retired Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. The annual cash award in the amount of $500 is given to the student or students in the law school exhibiting the greatest proficiency in the study of Constitutional Law.
  • Meredith Willett Jones received the National Association of Women Lawyers Award, which is presented annually to an outstanding law graduate at each American Bar Association-approved law school.
  • Monica J. Julian received the North Carolina State Bar Student Pro Bono Service Award, which is presented annually to a student who has contributed time and talent to law-related service.
  • Nathaniel Patrick Lee received the James A. Webster Jr. Faculty Award, which is given to the student who displays the greatest proficiency in the courses of Property, Real Property Security and Donative Transfers.