CHICAGO — DePaul University College of Law will hold its commencement on May 18 at the Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Road, Rosemont. Some 313 students will earn law degrees — 295 Juris Doctors and 18 Master of Laws degrees, in health law, intellectual property, international law and taxation.
The Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, president of DePaul, will confer the degrees in a ceremony that is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. The commencement speaker is United States District Judge Thomas M. Durkin, who will receive an honorary degree at the ceremony.
A 1978 graduate of the College of Law, Durkin has placed public service at the center of his distinguished and successful legal career. As a long-time federal prosecutor, he helped lessen corruption in government halls by prosecuting high-profile politicians who had broken the public’s trust. While working at one of Chicago’s highly regarded law firms, Mayer Brown LLP, Durkin also tried a number of federal and state jury cases, earning him a reputation as one of the city’s top trial lawyers. The latest chapter of his career has taken him to the other side of the bench. Recommended by U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk of Illinois, and nominated by President Barack Obama, Durkin was sworn in as a United States district judge for the Northern District of Illinois in 2013.
Durkin will be introduced by Gregory Mark, dean of the College of Law.
Since its establishment in 1912, the College of Law has graduated more than 14,700 students. DePaul law graduates have gone on to become highly skilled, committed and vigorous leaders of the bar, bench and business industries. Alumni include numerous state and federal judges, three Chicago mayors and managing partners of dozens of major law firms.
Its rich history of quality education, access and diversity has long set the College of Law apart. DePaul was among the first law schools in Illinois to admit historically excluded groups such as female and Jewish students.
The college is home to 15 distinguished centers and institutes that are dedicated to teaching, research, advocacy, and public education and engagement across a wide range of disciplines. Distinctive educational opportunities for students include joint degrees, certificate programs and experiential learning taught by 58 full-time faculty members who are all accomplished and seasoned attorneys. Areas of concentration for the College of Law include business law and taxation; child and family law; criminal law; health law; intellectual property law and information technology; international and comparative law; and public interest law.
This past February, DePaul’s College of Law was ranked first on the law school list for the largest number of graduates recognized by Illinois Super Lawyers in 2014. This was the fifth consecutive year that DePaul has topped the list. The new edition of Illinois Super Lawyers magazine included 320 DePaul law graduates, with 13 recognized in the top 100 and one in the top 10. Only 5 percent of the state’s lawyers annually are selected for inclusion.
Among the Class of 2014 are Kimberly Rios and her uncle Armando Rios, who unexpectedly became classmates. Read their story at http://depaulne.ws/Rios.
Those unable to attend may watch a live stream of the event at http://bit.ly/1fzrFTi. Click on the word “webcast” once the ceremony begins.
Commencement ceremonies for DePaul’s nine other schools and colleges are scheduled for June 14 and 15. For additional information, including a list of speakers and honorary degree recipients, visit http://depaulne.ws/Speakers.
This spring marks the 116th commencement for DePaul University. An estimated 6,800 students will graduate this academic year. DePaul is the largest Catholic university in the United States and the largest private, nonprofit university in the Midwest, with more than 24,500 students and about 300 academic programs. It is nationally recognized for incorporating service learning throughout its curriculum and preparing its graduates for a global economy.
DePaul was founded in Chicago in 1898 by the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians), a Roman Catholic religious community dedicated to following the ideals of St. Vincent de Paul, the 17th century priest for whom the university is named. DePaul’s tradition of providing a quality education to students from a broad range of backgrounds, with particular attention to first-generation students, has resulted in one of the nation’s most diverse student bodies. More information is at www.depaul.edu.