2013 Past Headlines
Law School Celebrates 2013 Graduates
A total of 291 students joined the ranks of alumni of the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law on May 11 during commencement ceremonies. In all, there were three doctor of juridical science, 23 master of laws, and 265 doctor of jurisprudence degrees conferred.
It was a day for students to not only hear inspiring words from university leaders, but also to learn one more time from some of their own.
Flavia Martinelli de Medeiros of the LL.M. division encouraged students to be grateful to their supporters, both in the ceremony’s audience as well as those who couldn’t be there, and to “use your influence to make your community a better place.”
Beau Badeaux spoke on behalf of the full-time J.D. division. He summed up the law school experience this way: “Where else do you get dropped into a room full of the smartest people you’ve ever met and get to tell them they’re wrong on a daily basis.” He also spoke affectionately of the camaraderie among his fellow students, saying that instead of intense competition, there was genuine concern to help one another succeed.
The evening program was represented by Matt Olsen, who noted that his class ranged in age from early 20s to age 60 and then some, and that there were physicians, members of the armed forces, entrepreneurs, and scientists among his class mates. “People not only value the evening program students,” he said, “but they make up the leadership of the state of Indiana.”
The commencement address was presented by Mario Joseph, who has led the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, since 1996. BAI filed claims with the United Nations in November 2011 on behalf of 5,000 victims of the cholera brought to Haiti by UN peacekeepers. Joseph and his team at BAI also represented rape victims in seven successful trials in 2012, which demonstrated that the justice system can be compelled to respond fairly and competently to rapes against poor women.
During his commencement address, Joseph talked about lawyers' critical role as rights enforcers for the most vulnerable in society, and encouraged graduates to advocate for rights enforcement no matter where their careers take them.
"As you continue along these different career paths, I would ask you to keep in mind the most vulnerable, in Indianapolis, in Haiti, and elsewhere, and to keep in mind the ways that you can serve as a highly-qualified and sorely-needed Rights Enforcer," Joseph said. That kind of advocacy can take the form of voter, donor, consumer, community leader, or member of a church or civic organization.