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TJSL Graduation Set for December 17 at Symphony Hall

December 7, 2011


It’s time for caps & gowns and Pomp and Circumstance!

Thomas Jefferson School of Law will hold graduation exercises on Saturday, December 17, 9 .a.m. at Copley Symphony Hall.  Sixty-eight graduating students will receive juris doctor degrees and three students will receive LL.M. (Master of Laws) degrees as part of the American Legal Studies program for non-U.S. lawyers.

The law school is proud to announce that the commencement speaker will be Professor Thomas Golden, who is celebrating his 35th year as a faculty member at TJSL.  He is the longest serving faculty member in the history of the law school. (More below)

The class valedictorian is Melissa A. Lewis, who is graduating Summa Cum Laude. Lewis earned her undergraduate degree at Hawaii Pacific University, and was a highly distinguished student at TJSL. She was named to the 2012 edition of Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, worked on the Thomas Jefferson Law Review and won many awards for excellence.

“I am honored to be the Valedictorian and I am excited for the opportunities this will create,” said Lewis. She is taking the California bar exam in February and will be practicing employment law at Stutz, Artiano, Shinoff & Holtz, where she will start as a post graduate  in March while awaiting the bar results. 

”Employment law has been my focus throughout law school and this is a perfect position for me. I am very excited about it,” Lewis added.   She says her true inspiration is her five-year-old daughter, Emma. “She is my motivation for success and provides great balance in my life.”

Lewis is also a TJSL “Legacy” graduate – her father Edward Lewis graduated from TJSL in 2001. “I used to come to school with him because he was a night student,” said Lewis.  “Now he comes to school to visit me! I am very attached to our school because of this. Since 1998 we have not missed a Padres Alumni Tailgate. I love Thomas Jefferson’s warm and welcoming environment, where everyone greets you with a smile and faculty and staff go out of their way to help you and students are supportive of one another. I could not imagine a better law school.”

About Professor Thomas Golden:
Professor Golden is one of the most highly-respected members of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law faculty. He began teaching at the law school in 1976 as a member of the adjunct faculty. He previously served as in-house counsel at the Whitaker Corporation. He then joined a major San Diego law firm where he worked for four years until starting his own civil litigation practice in 1980. He joined the full-time faculty in 1983 and served as assistant dean from 1986 to 1988.  Professor Golden also served as director of foreign study programs and led legal study groups to Beijing, China, and Cambridge, England. The Thomas Jefferson Student Bar Association Alumnus of the Year award is named in Professor Golden’s honor.