Eighty-nine first-year law students, members of the UND School of Law Class of 2024, begin their legal education this week.
They began their journey with a Convocation ceremony held Sunday evening at the Chester Fritz Auditorium with their family and friends in attendance. UND President Andrew Armacost, Dean of the School of Law, Michael McGinniss, and Assistant Dean of Student Services, Brad Parrish gave remarks. Keynote speaker, The Honorable Stephannie N. Stiel, District Court Judge for North Dakota’s East Central Judicial District provided an inspirational welcome for the aspiring lawyers. In her remarks, Judge Stiel noted that being a professional ultimately means being collegial – a good colleague and a good human. She emphasized the importance of keeping things respectful and dignified; the importance of commitment to maintaining good relationships, and the importance of cooperation and connectedness to other lawyers.
Each student crossed the stage and received a debossed UND School of Law padfolio, a pin to commemorate their future graduation class, and a tiny human magnet – a special gift from Judge Stiel to remind them to “be a good human and that we are all connected and to stay connected.” The class finished the ceremony by taking the UND School of Law Oath of Professionalism, led by Judge Stiel.
The class consists of 44 women and 45 men from 19 states and two provinces including North Dakota, Minnesota, Texas, South Dakota, Montana, Arizona, Idaho, Manitoba, and Newfoundland and Labrador. They come to law school with degrees in business administration, criminal justice, English, philosophy, political science, and psychology to name a few.
Orientation week continues through Thursday. During the week, students will learn about the program of legal education, gain tips and strategies for achieving academic success, familiarize themselves with the law school building and community, discover health and wellbeing habits, tips, and resources, and begin the first portion of their Lawyering Skills class.
“We are very excited to welcome these new students to our law school community, and to introduce them to the legal profession in North Dakota,” said Dean Michael McGinniss. “We are committed to providing our students with a strong foundation for success in professional life through a rigorous academic program, and we are proud of our law school traditions that prioritize high quality teaching and our culture of caring about students as individuals.”