Newly minted attorneys, who have graduated from St. Mary’s University School of Law and other law schools, will take their oath of office during a first-of-its-kind ceremony in Bexar County’s Cadena Reeves Justice Center on Thursday, Nov. 13.
In addition to this ceremony being the first for its two sponsoring organizations — the Bexar County Women’s Bar Foundation and the San Antonio Young Lawyers Association — the event is unique in offering new attorneys the option of being sworn in during a ceremony in San Antonio, said Shari Y. Mao (J.D. ’12), who serves on the foundation’s board.
“This ceremony in San Antonio is another way in which we can give back to those who have graduated and are joining our local legal community,” Mao said.
In the past, local law school graduates, who pass the Texas Bar Examination, have typically traveled to Austin to attend the State Bar of Texas new lawyer induction ceremony or have been sworn in individually by a judge or notary, Mao said.
Now, they will have the opportunity to be welcomed by United States District Judge Xavier Rodriguez and sworn in by Chief Justice Catherine Stone of the Fourth Court of Appeals (J.D. ’82) in the presence of their loved ones in San Antonio, she said.
More than 30 new attorneys are expected to be sworn in during the ceremony, she said.
The event is open to the media and will take place at 4 p.m. Thursday in the Central Jury Room of the Cadena Reeves Justice Center, 300 Dolorosa.
“Passing the bar exam is such a significant milestone for all of these individuals,” said Patricia Rouse Vargas (J.D. ’02), president of the San Antonio Young Lawyers Association. “We look forward to sharing their accomplishment with them.”
After the oath, a panel of representatives from local legal associations, including the St. Mary’s School of Law Alumni Association, will give brief descriptions of the assistance each can offer the new lawyers.
“We have a lot of people who graduate and then disappear into the legal community without an understanding of the support that organizations can offer them in San Antonio,” Mao said.
Ashley Graham, who earned her J.D. from St. Mary’s in May, said that being sworn in locally will enable more of those who supported her throughout law school to attend and it will be conducted in the presence of judges with whom she’s familiar.
Graham, who is interested in practicing personal injury law, is one half of a high-achieving set of fraternal twins. Her sister is in medical school, she said.
“I like the idea of everyone taking the oath together as a group and celebrating the fact that we made it and we’re done,” said Graham, who expects join many of her classmates at the event.
The St. Mary’s School of Law Alumni Association is a sponsor of the reception after the ceremony.