As law schools across the country welcome students with another academic year now underway, the 92 new arrivals that make-up the Class of 2020 at the S.J. Quinney College of Law participated in one of the first milestones in their legal training from a notable source: Judge Scott M. Matheson Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
The law school wrapped up its inaugural orientation week on Aug. 18 with a “Swearing-In Ceremony” at the law school’s moot courtroom, where Matheson administered the oath and officially welcomed students to the profession.
“The oath you take today is not merely symbolic,” said Matheson. “It’s real. It starts now. It starts today. It starts in the classroom and extends to your clinical placements and programs like the pro bono initiative, where you’ll have interaction with clients. You assumed professional responsibilities when you walked through the doors (of the law school) this week.”
Matheson, who is also a former dean at the U’s law school, founded the ceremony —which is now a rite of passage —15 years ago.
Having Matheson as part of this year’s ceremony to welcome students to the field after completing their first week of classes was special, said Reyes Aguilar, associate dean of admissions and financial aid at the S.J. Quinney College of Law.
“This is a unique opportunity for our students,” said Aguilar. “To be sworn in by a federal judge at the start of their new legal careers gives our students a memorable start to their upcoming three-year educational journey through law school,” he said.
The Class of 2020 completed its orientation week prior to the ceremony. Throughout the week faculty and guest speakers — including alumnus and 3rd District Court Judge Richard D. McKelvie — gave students a strong start to the academic year. McKelvie explained standards of professionalism and civility to students.
Bob Adler, dean of the law school, suggested students to take advantage of the many opportunities available at the law school. At the ceremony, he congratulated first-year students on making it through week one, and encouraged them not to lose sight of their goals as they progress through the program.
“You have realized this is interesting: You’ve made a great choice, this is a fascinating field. You’ve realized this is challenging: You can do it. We’ve picked you for the right reasons,” Adler told students.