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2020 Bar Ceremony acknowledges graduates' hard work in 'historically difficult' year
USC Gould School of Law

Friday, July 2, 2021

By Jim Lee
The USC Gould Bar Ceremony recognizes the years of hard work and dedication of law school graduates, culminating in their passing of the California Bar Exam, an important milestone in their legal careers. The pandemic presented unique challenges to the 2020 exam, making the achievements of this year’s more than 35 graduates in attendance even more impressive. 
The virtual ceremony was hosted by Dean Andrew Guzman with 3L Marian Slocum serving as bailiff. The Hon. Michael R. Amerian (JD 1999) of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles and the Hon. Julia W. Brand (JD 1985) of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California swore the graduates in with the state and federal attorneys’ oaths.
Dean Guzman opened the event by congratulating alumni on their success.
“Today is special for lots of reasons. One of them is the fact that this year was historically difficult,” he said. “You overcame a lot. You faced unprecedented challenges, not only including your law degree, not only in passing the bar exam, but also including all areas of life, and through it all, you showed the determination to push through and succeed.”
Prior to administrating the state oath, Judge Amerian reminded graduates to think about all of the love and support they got along the way, from those who cared about them most. He urged them to visualize their faces in the most difficult of moments. 
“There are moments in your career that you will face inevitably difficult questions, ethical or otherwise,” he said. “Remember, you will always have other clients, but you will only have one state bar license. The people that you just envisioned are counting on you to make the right choice in those difficult moments. Trust that you will. I do. You are all Trojans, after all.” 
Before stating the federal oath, Judge Brand noted, “You now get to embark on a path of lifelong learning as you start your careers and as you learn the law and its many aspects and how to be great lawyers.” 
Judge Brand concluded her remarks with tips for professional success she learned in 25 years of practice and nine years on the bench, urging graduates to always prepare their best work, seek out role models, network early and often, volunteer, observe and learn from good lawyers in court, and to stay connected to the USC Gould community.

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