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Long IslandEducation

Touro Law Center holds 2017 commencement

Touro Law Center graduate Jumobi Damian Agwu is

Touro Law Center graduate Jumobi Damian Agwu is hooded by his mother during the ceremony on Sunday, May 21, 2017 at CW Post's Tillis Center. Photo Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Touro Law Center held its 35th commencement Sunday in the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts on the LIU Post campus in Brookville.

Number of graduates

162 juris doctor degrees, 5 master of laws degrees

Commencement speaker

Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Queens), chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Democratic Caucus, urged graduates to serve the public with their new skills of advocacy. “In higher education it is called commencement . . . because it isn’t seen as the end of your education,” he said. “Rather it is seen as the beginning of putting your education to use.”

Student speakers

Jessica Vogele, valedictorian, full-time division, said the welcoming student body at Touro is what makes the school special, recalling the support her classmates showed her when her grandfather died during school year. “My classmates and my friends at Touro ... despite their own busy and stressful schedules, despite their lack of money, they took the time to be with me and my family. And I will never forget their compassion . . . If we take that same kind of level of kindness and that compassion and that earnestness to our places of practice — this raising each-other-up attitude — there’s really nothing that we can’t do.”

Erin Dunn, valedictorian, part-time division, said the degree the graduates just earned should be used to help others, much as classmates helped each other through difficult classes at Touro. “We must use our new law degree to make a difference – — stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves, be a voice for those who are speechless, fight for those that are in need.”

Graduates

Alexsis Gordon, 25

Gordon, of East Moriches, said she was “drawn to the hands-on approach at Touro” in its clinics and court observation programs, but found corporate and contract law her calling, so she will pursue a career in corporate law. “I really found myself drawn to those topics ... And it just clicked right away so I knew that was the area that I was going to be interested in.”

Ruben Izgelov, 29

Izgelov, of Forest Hills, attended Touro to “set a standard” of education for his 19-month-old son, Noah, and family, and will be practicing real estate and personal injury law. “What you do for yourself is you set a standard, not only for yourself but for those that you love.”

Tatiana Medina, 25

Medina, of Central Islip, will be a clerk for justices in the appellate division, Third Department of New York State courts, based in Albany. “I came to this school because they care so much about inclusion. Faculty really cared about the students and making sure that we always progressed. It definitely helped increase my passion in the law.”

Jose Rojas, 25

Rojas, of Bay Shore, will be working as prosecutor in Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office. “What lured me to the career is making a change for the better, especially in the Hispanic community ... As a prosecutor, I think I will be able to present justice not from the defense side but start it from the prosecution side.”

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