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Pepperdine Caruso Law Hosts Online Swearing In Ceremony

On the evening of Tuesday, June 2, 2020, Pepperdine Caruso Law hosted its first-ever online swearing in ceremony for graduates who passed the February 2020 California Bar Examination. Ten alumni attended, including Madisson Blum, Gunita Singh, Damin Park, Hannah Gray, Benjamin Schuppel, Shantel Yaghoobian, Jacquelynn Kwong, Nwadiuto Amajoyi, James Oh, and Ashley Robles. They were joined by their friends, families, and loved ones. Pepperdine Caruso Law professors, staff, and students also attended the event to support the graduates. Dean Chalak Richards (JD '12) emceed the ceremony, and Dean Paul Caron delivered opening remarks.

Dean Richards stated,

As Dean Caron said in his statement to the community yesterday, "The Caruso School of Law embraces our responsibility to address systemic injustices in our society." I - and Pepperdine - urge each of you to be a Pepperdine lawyer and uphold the highest ideals of service to your communities, fulfill your individual purposes, and be, as Dean Caron said, leaders who will effect positive change in the world. If each of you - each of us - do this, we can not only help our society; we can, through the grace of God and the power of our united efforts, heal our society. So, celebrate tonight. Though it may look different, celebrate and be prepared to exercise this solemn duty with joyful anticipation.

Dean Caron reiterated his continued commitment to help Pepperdine Caruso Law graduates pass the bar exam and obtain employment as his top priorities as Dean.

Alumni Associate Justice Eileen Moore (JD '78) of the California 4th District Court of Appeal and Judge Charles Eskridge (JD '90), United States District Court Judge of the Southern District of Texas. Judge Eskridge administered the federal oath first, and encouraged the graduates to "sincerely execute justice." He went on to state that the "role of law is a shield that protects us and that shield is in your hands, and you will play a very serious and important role in our country." Justice Eileen Moore shared how difficult the legal landscape was in 1978 as a female attorney (she was routinely asked where the attorney was in court when she would appear on behalf of her clients, and she once had someone ask why two court reporters were at a deposition when she showed up, as examples), and how she imagines the legal landscape of 2020 will be similarly challenging for different reasons. She carefully articulated the many roles Pepperdine graduates might play in a COVID-19 world, from advising employers how to make workplaces safe, to helping craft new policies and procedures for business to operate safely or remotely.

The audience used the chat box and their screens to cheer on the graduates, and the final moment of the ceremony began when everyone unmuted themselves to join in a moment of cheering for the graduates. Though the ceremony was the first of its kind, the online format did not take away from the joy of the occasion.

Congratulations to the newest Pepperdine Caruso Law attorneys in California. We are excited to see all the great things you will do in your careers, and stand beside you each step of the way!