WMU-Cooley Law School’s Tampa Bay campus conferred Juris Doctor degrees on 37 graduates. During the law school’s April 20 ceremony, which was held at the University of South Florida Music Hall, Lashawn McQueen provided the valedictory remarks and the Hon. Nick Nazaretian, of the 13th Judicial Circuit in Hillsborough County presented the keynote address.
McQueen, who was chosen by her classmates to provide the valedictory remarks, asked her fellow graduates to remember three things while advancing through their legal careers. She said it is important to never forget where you came from, always be kind to others, and do what makes you happy.
Pictured from left to right: WMU-Cooley Law School Interim President Jeffrey Martlew; LaShawn McQueen, graduate and valedictory speaker; Hon. Nick Nazaretian, of the 13th Judicial Circuit in Hillsborough County; and Tampa Bay campus Associate Dean Daniel Matthews.
“Living for the dollar is a one-way ticket to burnout,” noted McQueen. “Don’t ever compromise yourself or your morals for money. Being able to wake up and do what you love every day is priceless.”
While presenting the keynote, Nazaretian addressed how each graduate may have different paths to reaching both professional and personal goals.
“Be flexible on your route. It doesn’t matter which route you take,” said Nazaretian. “Your route may have to shift around a bit; it is OK as long as you reach your destination.
Each class at WMU-Cooley bears the name of a distinguished member of the legal profession. This graduating class is named after U.S. Supreme Court Justice Noah Haynes Swayne, who was the first of President Abraham Lincoln’s five appointments. Swayne served on the U.S. Supreme Court during the Civil War, and was involved in several judicial decisions of the court during his 19-year- appointment. President Andrew Jackson appointed Swayne to U.S. Attorney for Ohio prior to serving on the Supreme Court.