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Toledo Law Commencement Celebrates Student, Faculty Achievements

May 16, 2017

The University of Toledo College of Law celebrated its annual commencement ceremony on May 6, 2017.  President Sharon Gaber conferred both Juris Doctor and Master of Studies in Law degrees.  Judge Myron C. Duhart ’96, Lucas County Court of Common Pleas judge, gave the annual commencement address.  The Judge encouraged graduates to give back to the communities that shaped them and to serve with altruism and honor.  Additionally, several students and faculty members were recognized with individual awards. 

Nicholas Huckaby ’17 received the Valedictorian Award.  Huckaby earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama-Huntsville and served as the 2016-2017 Editor-in-Chief of The University of Toledo Law Review.  After the Bar Exam, he will start as an associate attorney with Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP in Toledo.

“I had the opportunity to work closely with Nick in the Civil Advocacy Clinic for a full year.  Not only is he very bright and hard-working, but he was terrific with his clients,” said Professor Rob Salem.  “His easy communication skills, empathy, and compassion will serve him very well throughout his career.”

Emily Morrison ’17 was presented with the Dean’s Award, which honors the graduating student who has made the most significant contribution to Toledo Law while maintaining high academic performance.  Morrison earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and served as the 2016-2017 Executive Articles Editor of The University of Toledo Law Review.  She will also join Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP in Toledo later this fall.

Nominators praised her work as a legal writing tutor, research assistant, note-taker, and teaching assistant.  “Emily arrived at UT and invested herself in our institution,” one nominator said.  “My 1L students have noted multiple times that her warmth set a tone for how they understood that they should comport themselves at UT, and it worked.  I know Emily contributed to the respectful, generous demeanor that my students extend to one another.”

Three professors were recognized for teaching and scholarship.  Graduating students selected Professor Eric Chaffee as the recipient of the Outstanding Professor Award for Dedication to Legal Education for the second year in a row.  Recalling her experiences as a first year student in Professor Chaffee’s Contracts Class, Kayleigh Burden ’17, outgoing president of the Student Bar Association, said, “Every day was a conversation that required us to apply the law that we read in our cases.  Our answers were frequently incorrect, but Professor Chaffee always gently nudged us in the right direction.”  

Ariel Berger ’19 presented Professor Shelley Cavalieri with the Beth Eisler First Year Teaching Award, selected by the first-year class.  “Professor Cavalieri made our transition into law school much less stressful than it could have been,” Berger said.  “She treated us first as humans, as intellectuals, and with respect.  She eased us into what the next few years would be like.”

Dean D. Benjamin Barros presented Professor Evan Zoldan with the Faculty Scholarship Award for his article “The Equal Protection Component of Legislative Generality,” which was published in the University of Richmond Law Review earlier this year.  “Evan Zoldan has created an accessible and completely original article about why the equal protection clause does NOT do the job of banning special interest legislation,” said Susan Martyn, Distinguished University Professor Emerita and member of the award selection committee.  “In doing so he has laid the foundation for other constitutional provisions that may do the work.”   



Last Updated: 2/2/18