Attorney General Healey receives Chancellor’s Medal
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey addressed UMass Law’s graduating class during the 2018 Commencement ceremony. Healey was also honored with the Chancellor’s Medal for her tireless work in Massachusetts.
Sworn in as Attorney General on January 21, 2015, she pledged to lead the People’s Law Firm. Since taking office, Healey has tackled issues touching the lives of residents across Massachusetts including the heroin and prescription drug abuse epidemic, escalating health care costs, workers' rights and student loan costs. She has focused on strengthening consumer protections and on improving our criminal justice system.
Advice to graduates
Telling the nearly 50 graduates that she was there to recruit them, Healey said, "We need your skills, we need your talents, and we need your resilience."
She explained that their juris doctor degrees make them “uniquely situated to do something to change lives and have an impact. You have the ability to change the life of an individual.”
“I think of you all as the keepers of this nation’s promise,” Healey said, explaining that they are charged with the responsibility of writing, enforcing, and upholding the law, as well as ensuring that they are fairly, equally, and judicially applied.
"Even if you don’t work in the public interest – make time for clients and causes that need your help.”
Student speaker: "Pursue justice"
Alicia Blanchard, JD ’18 ended her student address with the same sentiment. “I ask just one thing, always remember why you came to law school, and what was firing your passion. Always remember the mantra that has been repeated so many times during our time here, from Day 1 of Orientation to now - pursue justice.
“We had the dream and passion to serve others. UMass Law empowered us to do so with integrity, humility and compassion. Now, we must go out, fortified by the lessons we learned at UMass Law, and pursue justice.”
Lawyers of the future
“In just a few short years, UMass Law has climbed the ranks in terms of bar pass rates and job placement to become a premier destination for law education in New England,” Dean Eric Mitnick said. “The students graduating here today are perfect examples of the civic- and justice-minded individuals the Commonwealth of Massachusetts needs for the future.”
Members of the 2018 graduating class received prestigious national and regional awards including the Rappaport Law and Public Policy Fellowship and the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association's Honorable Justice Reginald Lindsay Public Service Award.
“Your generation can no longer wait, we need you to solve the problems of the present and future to bring about a more just and fair society for all,” Chancellor Robert E. Johnson told the graduates. “Remember, the law matters and the truth matters.”