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Hofstra Law Celebrates Student Achievements at 2019 Graduation Awards Ceremony

Photo of student award recipients and speakers on the stage at the John Cranford Adams Playhouse for the Hofstra Law Class of 2019 Graduates Awards Celebration on May 20, 2019

The Maurice A. Deane School of Law held its annual Graduation Awards Ceremony on Monday, May 20. Administrators, faculty members, friends and families joined Hofstra Law graduates at the John Cranford Adams Playhouse at Hofstra University to honor their outstanding achievements as law school students.

Teacher of the Year Ronald J. Colombo, professor of law and associate dean for distance education, wished the graduates “careers and lives that, regardless of whether considered successful or not, are good, virtuous, and ultimately very, very happy.”

Student Bar Association Co-President Giuseppe Finelli shared that “one thing that Hofstra has taught me is, rather than dwell on [our] mistakes and failures, we must use those mistakes as tools for the rest of our lives,” while Student Bar Association Co-President Morgan Gieser reminded her classmates, “In times where we have seen ethical dilemmas get the best of attorneys, it is important that we stay grounded and remain vigilant in our practice of law.”

And elected Class Speaker Ahkianne Wanliss advised her fellow graduates, “No matter how much we achieve — and I expect that we will achieve amazing things — we do not try for perfection because it does not exist. Instead, we strive to be the best versions of ourselves.”

Watch the full Graduation Awards Ceremony on YouTube.

Watch commencement speaker the Honorable Loretta Lynch, former Attorney General of the United States, receive the Hofstra University Presidential Medal and deliver the commencement address on Livestream. (The introduction of Ms. Lynch starts at about 41:55 into the video.)

The following 2019 graduation awards were presented at the ceremony:

Maurice A. Deane Award
Kayley Sullivan

Distinguished Service to the School Award
Kimberly Wilkens

Outstanding Law Student Award
Kayley Sullivan

Gina Maria Escarce Memorial Scholarship
Hunter Blain

William Eric Goldberg Endowed Memorial Scholarship
Cody Lehrer

Third-Year Scholastic Achievement Award
Kayley Sullivan

The Honorable David A. Paterson Graduation Award in Public Service
Joan Howell
Marysa Linares

Pro Bono Service Award of Excellence
Shayla Ramos

Pro Bono Leadership Award
Pamela Bratton

Hofstra Law Review Alumni Writing Award
Matthew Nevola

Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal Writing Award
Alexander Tait

Government Law Courses
Brendan Catalano
Danielle Leavy

International Law Courses
Bari Lebowitz

Tax Law Courses
Hunter Blain

Marvin Gutter ’76 Endowed Graduate Award in Tax Law
Julia Johnson

Labor and Employment Law Courses
Jenna Dysart
Morgan Gieser
Alex Malandra

Constitutional Law Courses
Giuseppe Finelli

Tort Law Courses
Jessica Rapp

Alternative Dispute Resolution Courses
Jenna Dysart
Steven Tanen

Leon Stern Criminal Courts Bar Association of Nassau County Award
Andre Johnson

Criminal Law Courses
Matthew Nevola

New York City Trial Lawyers Alliance Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy
Gabriella Malfi
Jaclyn Ruggirello

Ruskin Moscou Faltischek Endowed Award for Outstanding Appellate Advocacy
Alexandra Russell

Deborah Sloyer Memorial Scholarship in Trial Advocacy
Taylor Cain

Advocacy/Litigation Courses
Jaclyn Ruggirello
Rebecca Stein

Clinical Prosecution Practicum Course Award
Veronica Pareja

Clinical Courses
Bari Lebowitz and Fatima Mustafa, Asylum
Lucas Rock, Community and Economic Development
Erica Alter, Criminal Justice
Vanessa Caballero, Deportation Defense
Mary Benton and Gianna McArthur, Veterans Law
Louise Lingat, Youth Advocacy

Procedural Law Courses
Kayley Sullivan

Environmental and Natural Resources Law Courses
Sean Di Luccio

Intellectual Property Law Courses
Hunter Blain

Health Law Courses
Brendan Lopuzzo
Malkie Scher

Stephanie E. Kupferman Juvenile Justice Endowed Scholarship
Pamela Bratton
Elyse Sheehan

Family Law Courses
Kathleen Ramirez

Commercial Law Courses
Kayley Sullivan

Corporate and Securities Law Courses
Brendan Catalano
Cody Lehrer
Merisa Plavin

Bankruptcy Law Courses
Hunter Blain

Benjamin Weintraub and Alan N. Resnick Bankruptcy Law Award
Cody Lehrer

Estate Planning Law Courses
Anthony Castellano
Elizabeth Rizzo

Property Law Courses
Jaclyn Kaplan

Herman Hillman Real Estate Award
William Krause

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