NYU Law honors graduates at Convocation 2024

On May 16, during Convocation 2024, NYU Law honored the work and accomplishments of more than 900 JD, LLM, JSD, and MS graduates in front of a crowd of their excited family and friends at the Theater at Madison Square Garden.

The keynote address for the morning JD ceremony was given by Vijaya Gadde ’00, former chief legal officer and head of compliance, policy, trust and safety at Twitter. Graduate and LLM students heard remarks from Sir Nicholas Clegg, president of global affairs for Meta Platforms and former deputy prime minister of the United Kingdom.

Dean Troy McKenzie '00
Dean Troy McKenzie '00

Addressing the crowd, Dean Troy McKenzie ’00 encouraged graduates to value each other, noting that the NYU Law community, including his former NYU Law classmate Gadde, has been a continuing source of strength and friendship in his own life and career. “You may not realize it right now, but the value of these connections, or their potential to grow in richness over time is something that you should maintain and nurture,” he said. “My greatest wish for you is to seize this opportunity to embrace the gift of one another….if you do, you will be better lawyers and better people.”

David Tanner '84
David Tanner '84

In his remarks, NYU Law Board of Trustees Chair David Tanner ’84 encouraged graduates to pursue a selfless model of leadership built on listening and taking all perspectives seriously.

“The word leadership is often seen as an egotistical term rooted in self-importance,” he said. “However, the leadership I’m speaking about is different. It is a gentler, kinder form that involves carefully listening to every voice, no matter how infuriating, considering every perspective, and weighing every argument before reaching a decision.”

Robert McCarthy '24
Robert McCarthy '24

The Voice of the Class of 2024 was Robert McCarthy ’24. During his speech to the JD class, McCarthy noted that what makes institutions and communities strong is their ability to learn and grow.

“NYU Law is a…community that began as a group of strangers but now are pockets of lifelong friends,” he said. “NYU Law, which is to say, us graduates included… must be examples of communities that guard free speech and center the humanity of everyone. We must be an example of a community that bridges divides, that makes humanity a centerpiece of all we do. We cannot shy away from difficult conversations, especially with the general unwillingness to engage in these conversations.”

Vijaya Gadde
Vijaya Gadde '00

In her remarks to the JD graduates, Gadde talked about working on challenging issues of free speech, national security, and the right to privacy during her 11 years at Twitter. Gadde encouraged students to develop principles that could help them navigate the legal or ethical “grey areas” where lawyers are often called upon to provide solutions.

“As you embark on your legal careers, I encourage you to think about…your own decision-making frameworks based on principles that guide you not just in your career, but in your life,” Gadde said.

María Angélica Suárez Ibarra LLM ’24
María Angélica Suárez Ibarra LLM '24

During the afternoon ceremony, María Angélica Suárez Ibarra LLM ’24 discussed the thrill of studying in New York City, which put her in a new stream of opportunities—including dancing onstage with her idol, Shakira, after winning tickets to the MTV Music Video Awards, where Shakira was performing. Suárez Ibarra said that while many of her classmates came to Law School driven by ambition, the greatest gain from NYU Law was the community they found in each other. “This was just one of the many years of friendship ahead of us,” she said.

Nick Clegg
Nicholas Clegg

Addressing the LLM and graduate students, Clegg talked about being “the serial holder of unpopular positions.” These included serving as deputy prime minister during a coalition government, being the leader of a third political party in a country largely run by the top two parties, and advocating for staying in the European Union when his country voted to leave in 2016.

Clegg emphasized the importance of taking unpopular stances to pursue what one believes is right, and he advocated for opening borders and dialogue across the globe to combat rising nationalism. “Don’t pursue the thing that will make you popular. Popularity is fleeting,” he said. “Pursue the thing you believe in. Seek out people who you disagree with and disagree with them. Kindly test your ideas constantly and learn from it when they don’t work…. Whether you win or lose, a career spent in the service of something you believe in is one well spent.”

Photos from Convocation 2024: 

Two people hugging at Convocation
Troy McKenzie shaking student's hand
Graduate accepting their diploma with their children, one of whom is holding a hand-made drawing of a purple heart
Graduates celebrating at Convocation

Posted May 21, 2024.