U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Neil M. Gorsuch surprises University of Utah law students during orientation
Newswise – New law students at the University of Utah’s SJ Quinney College of Law received an unexpected and exciting surprise to wrap up their first official week of law school: Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court- United, Neil M. Gorsuch, came on the final day of orientation via Zoom to personally welcome students into the legal profession.
Gorsuch, who took up his post at the court in April 2017, on Friday encouraged law students to persevere through difficult times as they begin their law studies amid a global pandemic.
Gorsuch’s live remarks delighted law students and their families, who had gathered virtually over Zoom to participate in the SJ Quinney College of Law’s annual swearing-in ceremony. The rite of passage, similar to the white coat ceremonies performed by new medical students, was founded 18 years ago. The 90 members of the class of 2023 completed the week of orientation and the introduction to classes before the ceremony.
Gorsuch’s appearance is the first time a justice of the United States Supreme Court has taken the ceremony’s oath of office in front of students. Inviting her as one of the event’s distinguished guests helped end the week for new students on a high note, said Dean Elizabeth Kronk Warner.
COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the way most new law students begin their legal education, Kronk Warner noted. From mask requirements to taking classes online, law students embarking on a three-year journey to earn a JD are doing so in one of the most uncertain times in recent history.
“At a time when there were so many unknowns and in a year when we had to change the way we gave our traditional orientation to law students, we wanted to make our swearing-in ceremony particularly special for our legal community and our new group of aspiring lawyers. said Kronk Warner. “We were honored that Judge Gorsuch accepted our invitation and inspired our students with his words of wisdom during the swearing-in ceremony. We are grateful to have him among the festivities to cap off a great start to the new academic year.
Gorsuch’s remarks recalled the power of a law degree. Judge, who has ties to the West as a Denver native, earned a BA from Columbia University, a JD from Harvard Law School and a D.Phil. from Oxford University. He served as law clerk to Judge David B. Sentelle of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and clerk to Judge Byron R. White and Judge Anthony M. Kennedy of the Supreme Court the United States. states. From 1995 to 2005 he was in private practice and from 2005 to 2006 he was a Senior Assistant Attorney General at the United States Department of Justice. He was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in 2006. He served on the Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure of the United States Judicial Conference and as Chairman of the Committee advisory on the rules of appeal procedure. He also taught at the University of Colorado Law School. President Donald J. Trump nominated him to the bench.
Reyes Aguilar, associate dean for admissions and financial aid at SJ Quinney College of Law, said Gorsuch’s presence added to an already momentous ceremony for law students.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our class of 2023 students,” Aguilar said. “Being sworn in by a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States is something that no other incoming class has ever experienced.”
CLASS OF 2023: IN FIGURES
Total number of students: 90
Percentage of women: 54%
Percentage of first-generation students: 15%
Average age: 25 (ranging from 20 to 59)
Note to media: A interview with Dean Elizabeth Kronk Warner is available here. A photo from the Zoom ceremony and a photo of Judge Gorsuch are also available for media.