Tampa Bay Campus Holds Summer Graduation

Sabrina Mentor

Sabrina Mentor presents the valedictory remarks during WMU-Cooley Law School’s Tampa Bay campus graduation

Graduates from the Tampa Bay campus of WMU-Cooley Law School were honored during a commencement ceremony at the University of South Florida’s College of Music Auditorium on Aug. 13, 2016. Hillsborough County Public Defender Julianne Holt presented the keynote address, while graduating senior Sabrina Mentor presented the valedictory remarks.

Holt, who received her bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida and law degree from South Texas College of Law, told students to have a passion for practicing law. She noted that individuals’ lives will be affected everyday by their work as practicing attorneys.

“I have been a practicing attorney for 36 years and get up every morning loving what I do,” said Holt.

Mentor, who was chosen by her fellow graduates to present the valedictory remarks, spoke about how WMU-Cooley faculty went above and beyond to teach students the ethical values in the profession of law.

“Let us always remember to take the time to understand, not just the legal aspects of each client’s case, but that person’s state of mind and the life-altering impact to their life should we fail, even in the slightest, to always do what is in their best interest,” said Mentor.

Each class at WMU-Cooley bears the name of a distinguished member of the legal profession. The summer 2016 graduating class was named after Harlan Fiske Stone. Stone served as the associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1925 and then became the chief justice of the United States in 1941.

Don LeDuc, Julianne Holt, Sabrina Mentor, Jeff Martlew

Pictured (left-right) Don LeDuc, WMU-Cooley Law School president and dean; Julianne Holt, Hillsborough County public defender; Sabrina Mentor, WMU-Cooley Law School graduate; and Jeff Martlew, WMU-Cooley Law School associate dean.

Tampa Graduation

Nestor Gonzalez receives his diploma from Associate Dean Jeff Martlew during WMU-Cooley Law School’s summer graduation on Aug. 13.

Julianne Holt

Julianne Holt, Hillsborough County public defender, speaks to WMU-Cooley graduates during the law school’s recent commencement.


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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