U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez will speak at the sixth commencement ceremony for Drexel University’s School of Law on Wednesday, May 21, at 2 p.m. at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (300 S. Broad Street).
Perez, who was appointed secretary of labor by President Obama in 2013, has a distinguished record of public service. He served as assistant attorney general for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Justice, where he led enforcement of laws the prohibit discrimination, and chaired an interagency Worker Exploitation Task Force while he was deputy assistant attorney general.
Perez and Ambassador Earle Mack will both receive honorary degrees. Mack is a distinguished businessman and diplomat, who was appointed ambassador to Finland by President George W. Bush in 2004. The Earle I. Mack Foundation became the founding donor of Drexel’s law school in 2008.
The 141 members of the Drexel Law Class of 2014 have gained 68,758 hours of professional practice experience through co-op and clinic placements and pro bono service. Nearly 14,400 of those hours were provided through pro bono service, in which students provided unpaid legal services to under-represented members of the community.
The Class of 2014 includes students who have argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and champions of regional moot court and negotiating competitions who demonstrated exceptional skill in national and international contests. Members of the trial team emerged as finalists in regional competitions, while a member of the Moot Court Board was named “Best Oralist” in the regional rounds of an international moot court contest.
“These graduates have acquired advocacy skills that rival those of peers from any of the nation’s law schools,” Dean Roger Dennis said. “They have demonstrated professionalism and dedication that will serve them well throughout their careers.”
The event marks the sixth commencement for Drexel Law, which is widely recognized by employers for preparing students especially well for professional practice. Students hone their skills through co-op placements in law firms, corporate offices, the courts, government agencies and public-interest law organizations. Students also gain experience representing clients through the school’s Appellate Litigation and Entrepreneurial Law Clinics as well as clinics operated with some of Philadelphia’s premiere public-interest organizations.
Prominent jurists and lawyers who have been partners in educating the graduates and in establishing the law school will join in the celebration, as will Drexel University President John A. Fry.