STCL Houston Celebrates J.D. Graduates at Spring 2023 Commencement
South Texas College of Law Houston conferred Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) degrees to more than 240 graduates May 13 during the Spring 2023 Commencement ceremony at the George R. Brown Convention Center. STCL Houston, which is currently celebrating its 100th anniversary, honored the graduates for their hard work, outstanding academic achievement, and their perseverance through the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Congratulations on a job very well done,” said President and Dean Michael F. Barry. “As the graduates of 2023, you will forever be known as the ‘Centennial Class’ of South Texas College of Law Houston. I hope this distinction carries with it a special sense of pride for you — and a special sense of purpose. I am sure our founders would be proud of your persistence, commitment, and dedication, undeterred by the seemingly ever-changing landscape the global pandemic created. Because you persevered, I have the honor of proudly welcoming you today into the distinguished profession of law.”
Commencement speaker Nathan L. Hecht, Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court and the longest-tenured Texas judge in active service, delivered a commencement speech that congratulated the graduates for their accomplishments – and challenged the newly minted attorneys to foster innovations that will make the justice system more accessible to Texas citizens.
Justice Hecht also reminded the graduates of their role in preserving the rule of law, engaging in civil discourse, and maintaining our democracy using the art of persuasion. “Law school has enveloped you in a culture of persuasion, has shown you the power of ideas and words, and has given you the tools to use them,” Hecht said. “Now it’s your turn to take on the changes that will keep our justice system not only the best in the world, but the best in the history of the world.”
Taylor Leger, valedictorian of the graduating class, was an active and successful member of the law school’s award-winning Advocacy program. A second-career student, Leger achieved the highest grade in many of her classes, securing a spot on the Dean’s Honor List each semester. She won the Best National Brief Award at the prestigious New York City Bar’s 72nd National Moot Court competition, and the Dean’s Outstanding Advocate Award.
Leger encouraged her fellow graduates to share their moment of triumph with all the people in their lives who were supportive of them throughout their law school experience. Her address included wishes for success and personal growth – particularly when that growth is the result of conflicts and difficulties.