Convocation Honors Northwestern Law Class of 2016

May 16, 2016

Tullman Speech
Howard Tullman (JD '70) addressed the Class of 2016.

On Friday, May 13, over 500 Northwestern Pritzker School of Law graduates, along with their families and friends, packed the historic Chicago Theatre for the Class of 2016’s convocation ceremony.

Howard A. Tullman (JD ’70), chief executive officer of 1871, Chicago’s world-renowned mega-incubator for tech startups, delivered the keynote address.

“Lincoln Hall changes the way you look at the world — mostly in a good way — and the rigor, the arguments, the grit and the perseverance that it takes to excel in this special place have prepared you, have distinguished you, and will set you apart going forward in whatever you choose to do with your lives,” Tullman said, “Your most important and first job is to choose wisely.”

A technologist, venture capitalist, educator and serial entrepreneur, Tullman has started more than a dozen businesses and has more than 50 years of start-up, emerging technology and turn-around experience in a wide variety of fields. His work on behalf of the city of Chicago has resulted in the creation of thousands of new jobs, new educational programs for children and improved technology classes in Chicago’s schools. Before turning to entrepreneurship, he practiced law for 10 years, specializing in class action litigation and Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases. He is a life member of the Northwestern Law Board and the winner of the Donald Pritzker Entrepreneurship Law Center’s 2008 Distinguished Entrepreneur Award.

In addition to Tullman and Dean Daniel B. Rodriguez, Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro and student speakers Patricia Boone (JD ’16), Yali Li (LLM ’16), and Julio Zambrano (MSL ’16) addressed the crowd.

During the ceremony, a number of faculty members and students received awards voted on by the students. Outgoing Student Bar Association president Ghassan Shamieh (JD ’16) presented the following faculty awards:

  • Richard Levin - Outstanding Adjunct Professor
  • Susan Provenzano - Outstanding First-Year Course Professor
  • Destiny Peery (JD-PhD ’12) - Outstanding Professor of a Small Class
  • Robert Wootton - Outstanding LLM Tax Professor
  • Peter DiCola – Robert Childres Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence

The following student awards were presented by Professor Peter DiCola:

  • Patricia Boone (JD ’16) - Courage Award
  • Mackenzie Drutowski (JD ’16) - Legal Profession Award
  • Paige Cunningham (JD ’16) - Service Award
  • Ghassan Shamieh (JD ’16) - Leadership Award

DiCola also presented Clemens Gaugush (LLM ’16) with the Wigmore Key, the only award voted on by both students and faculty for the graduating student “who has done the most to help preserve the traditions of the law school."

Northwestern Law’s 2016 graduating class includes 231 candidates for JD degrees and 27 candidates for joint JD-MBA degrees, 135 candidates for LLM degrees, 32 candidates for the LLM degree and certificate in business administration from Kellogg, 54 candidates for LLM degrees in taxation, 13 candidates for LLM degrees in international human rights, and 34 candidates for MSL degrees. Other degrees presented included those in the Executive LLM Programs in Seoul (5), Madrid (14), and Tel Aviv (33), and four candidates for Master of Studies in Law.