Lincoln Alexander Law celebrates its inaugural Convocation – News and Events

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The first law graduate at TMU aims to be a new kind of lawyer

By: Irina Vukosavic

July 04, 2023

The stage with “congratulations to the inaugural graduating class” on the screen.

The Convocation ceremony featured performances by two prominent Canadian singer-songwriters – Jully Black and iskwē– and addresses from TMU President Mohamed Lachemi, Chancellor Janice Fukakusa and Honorary Doctorate recipient Kimberly Murray. Photo credit: Kenya-Jade Pinto.

On June 27, the Lincoln Alexander School of Law celebrated the first graduating class at its inaugural Convocation ceremony

Safia Thompson Ramdoo at the podium.  Photo credit: Kenya-Jade Pinto.

In her valedictorian address, Safia Thompson Ramdoo was awarded the graduating class for the law school they built together. Photo credit: Kenya-Jade Pinto.

“We built this law school with the shared principles of fairness, goodness, inclusion and collectivity. We must always remember that we did so on the shoulders of giants – as the inaugural class, you are now the giants,” said graduate and valedictorian Safia Thompson-Ramdoo in her address. “We cultivated a law school where we maintained positivity in the face of adversity, fell in love with expanding our critical faculties, and acted selflessly. We’ve founded student unions and associations, led pro-bono projects, established student-initiated scholarships and awards, [and] won provincial and national competitions.”

Kimberly Murray, wearing a red and black gown, delivers the Convocation Address.  Photo credit: Kenya-Jade Pinto.

Honorary Doctorate Recipient Kimberly Murray delivers the Convocation Address to graduates and guests. Photo credit: Kenya-Jade Pinto.

In her powerful Convocation Address, Honorary Doctorate recipient Kimberly Murray, who serves as Canada’s Independent Special Interlocutor for Missing Children and Unmarked Graves and Burial Sites associated with Indian Residential Schools, challenged the graduating class to “avoid those quick wins, and strive to make impactful , long term systemic changes with and within the law… [and] continue to do what the Lincoln Alexander School of Law has done – make every effort to redefine the law so that it is worthy of its name.”

The inaugural graduates will soon be entering the workforce and applying the skills they learned at a different kind of law school – one that is committed to access to justice and greater diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.

Dean Donna Young in a blue gown at the podium.  Photo credit: Kenya-Jade Pinto.

Dean Donna Young spoke about how the inaugural class taught the law school’s faculty, staff and students important lessons. Photo credit: Kenya-Jade Pinto.

“This day is something that all of us on stage have been anticipating even before the fall of 2020, when we were anxiously awaited by your virtual arrival on campus,” said Dean Donna Young in her remarks. “Over the course of the last three years, while we were teaching you how to be a new kind of lawyer, you were teaching us the twin values ​​of patience and perseverance, the importance of building a caring and supporting community, and the enduring power of [Lincoln Alexander’s] legacy”

TorontoMet Today was there to capture this joyous occasion, as friends and family beamed with joy as they helped the graduates close this chapter and start a new one with boundless possibilities. Keep reading for more photos from the event!

Jully Black singing on stage with a microphone.  Photo credit: Kenya-Jade Pinto.

Jully Black performed her rendition of the national anthem at the ceremony. Photo credit: Kenya-Jade Pinto.

iskwē and Laura Bates perform on stage.  Photo credit: Kenya-Jade Pinto.

iskwē performs “The Unforgotten” accompanied by violinist Laura Bates. Photo credit: Kenya-Jade Pinto.

Graduates smiling and looking up at the stage.  Photo credit: Kenya-Jade Pinto.

Over 800 guests filled the Concert Hall at The Carlu, which included 157 graduates. Photo credit: Kenya-Jade Pinto.

Pictured from left to right with 2023 balloons in the background: Harman Bath, Arshad Auckbarallee and Sandeep Patel.  Photo credit: Kenya-Jade Pinto.

After the ceremony, graduates enjoyed light refreshments at the reception. Pictured: Harman Bath, Arshad Auckbarallee and Sandeep Patel. Photo credit: Kenya-Jade Pinto.

Karlena Koot and Oksana Romanov in front of a “Lincoln Proud” marquee.  Photo credit: Kenya-Jade Pinto.

Graduates posed for pictures with their classmates at the reception. Pictured: Karlena Koot and Oksana Romanov. Photo credit: Kenya-Jade Pinto.

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