Tampa Bay Campus Holds January Graduation Ceremony

Tampa Bay Graduation

John T. Berry, director of the Florida Bar’s Legal Division, presented the keynote during WMU-Cooley Law School’s graduation on Saturday, Jan. 9.

The Tampa Bay campus of Western Michigan University Cooley Law School honored 54 graduates during a commencement ceremony held at University of South Florida’s Marshall Student Center on Jan. 9, 2016. Students received their diplomas during the ceremony for earning their juris doctor degrees.

Graduate Samantha Adams was selected by her fellow classmates to present the graduation valedictory remarks. In the speech, she shared her reasons for attending law school and how she learned working smarter made her stronger, and got her through law school difficulties.

"Law school is by no means easy. It is a process where we had to essentially isolate ourselves, learn to change our perspectives, find the law in absolutely everything, and learn how to be objective," stated Adams. "When we made the decision to come to law school, we made the decision to perch on that mountain top and go through a painful process, but we grew, we got smarter and stronger."

The keynote was presented by John T. Berry, director of the Florida Bar’s Legal Division. Berry spoke to the law graduates about enjoying the work they do practicing law and how to keep the momentum while understanding the impact an attorney’s action can have on others.  

"This degree is a wonderful tool you can use to help and care for others,” said Berry. “You are to be congratulated for making it here."

Each entering class at WMU-Cooley bears the name of a distinguished member of the legal profession. The January 2016 class is named after William Howard Taft. Taft was the only person to serve as U.S. President (1909 -1913) and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (1921-1930).

The WMU-Cooley Tampa Bay campus is located in Riverview, Florida, at 9445 Camden Field Parkway.

Tampa Bay Graduation

WMU-Cooley Law School Tampa Bay campus graduate Samantha Adams presents the valedictory remarks during the law school’s recent graduation ceremony.

Tampa Bay Graduation

Raeseen Kennedy is presented with her diploma by WMU-Cooley Law School Tampa Bay campus Associate Dean Jeffrey Martlew. The law school graduated 54 students during the campus’ graduation ceremony on Jan. 9.


About Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School: Western Michigan University and Thomas M. Cooley Law School affiliated in 2014, combining the status of a nationally-ranked, public, comprehensive research university with the commitment to practical legal education of an independent, non-profit, national law school. WMU-Cooley is accredited by both the American Bar Association and the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. The law school has provided nearly 20,000 graduates with the practical skills necessary for a seamless transition from academia to the real world, and enrolls classes in January, May, and September at its Lansing, Auburn Hills, and Grand Rapids, Michigan campuses, and its Tampa Bay, Florida campus. WMU and the law school continue to operate as independent institutions with their own governance structure and separate fiduciary responsibilities.



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