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UND School of Law welcomes Class of 2025

At Convocation, federal judge offers class of 86 aspiring attorneys some timeless advice: ‘First, call your mother’ 

Judge Ralph R. Erickson, a federal judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, delivers the convocation address at the UND School of Law on Aug. 14. Photo courtesy of UND School of Law.

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Eighty-seven first-year law students, members of the UND School of Law Class of 2025, begin their legal education this week.

Their journey began with a Convocation ceremony held Sunday evening at the Chester Fritz Auditorium with their family and friends in attendance. Eric Link, UND provost and vice president for academic affairs; Brian Pappas, dean of the School of Law; and Brad Parrish, assistant dean of student services, gave remarks. Judge Ralph R. Erickson, a federal judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, delivered the convocation address.

In his remarks, Judge Erickson presented the newest students of UND School of Law with three pieces of advice for their time in law school. “First, call your mother,” he said. A text to your father is fine, but your mom requires a phone call, he added with a smile.

Staying connected to your support group throughout the law school journey is essential to success.

Second, be present. Show up for class, be focused and stay engaged. Do not let distractions get in the way of your education.

Third, remain resilient. Erickson stressed the importance of adapting, facing challenges and recovering from setbacks, which undoubtedly will happen in law school. He also spoke of professionalism and the great responsibility that attorneys have today to use the facts and interact truthfully within all aspects of the legal system.

The Class of 2025 at the UND School of Law gathers outside of the school in early August of 2022. Photo courtesy of the UND School of Law.

Each member of the class crossed the stage and received a UND School of Law padfolio and a Class of 2025 pin from Pappas and Link. The ceremony concluded with the class taking the UND School of Law Oath of Professionalism, led by Erickson.

The class consists of 36 women and 50 men from 20 states and three countries, including North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, California, Washington, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Georgia, as well as Canada, South Africa, and Taiwan. They come to UND with degrees in accounting, music, biology, education, business administration and agriculture, among other fields.

Three members of the class are enrolled in UND’s accelerated 3 plus 3 law program, and six members of the class hold master’s degrees. Two members of the class are veterans and one member is active military.

Orientation week continues through Aug. 18. 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 our new students to the UND Law family,” said Pappas.  “We pride ourselves on our high-quality teaching and the wide variety of experiential opportunities available, due to our close relationship with the bench and bar. We have a long history of developing excellent lawyers, and this class will carry on that proud tradition.”