On Thursday, August 10, 2023, The University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law (UDC Law) held its annual Pinning Ceremony to welcome and celebrate the incoming classes of 2026 and 2027. This year, ninety-two new firebirds, along with their family, friends, UDC faculty and staff participated in the ceremony at the UDC Theater of the Arts. 

President Maurice Edington, Chief Academic Officer Lawrence Potter, and Dean Twinette Johnson provided remarks, encouraging students to appreciate how far they have come on their law school journey. 

“Each of you has a reason. Tonight, I implore you to clarify and commit to it.” said President Edington before he shared his personal story. Edington’s journey began as a young man with “nothing…but a duffel bag, $400 in my pocket, and an insatiable hunger to learn.” Though the odds were stacked against him, through his own determination and the help and guidance of his chemistry professor and mentor, Pricilla Evans, Dr. Edington graduated from Fisk University and went on to earn  a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry. When looking back on his journey, Pres. Edington remarked, “I couldn’t have reached those goals or remained a student at Fisk [University], without the support of one extraordinarily caring and compassionate professor.”  

It was through these experiences and his relationship with Pricilla Evans that President. Edington learned his why— “the commitment to service through education.”  

Dean Twinette Johnson shared a story from her law school experience. She recalled receiving an assignment to climb a large mountain. The task was daunting, and as she began to climb that mountain, it started to become apparent to her that she might not make it. However, with the coaching of her supportive professor and her own determination, she reached the top.  

Successfully climbing that mountain taught Dean Johnson an important life lesson that she shared with the incoming class. She stated, “To you, our wonderful incoming class of students, I want you to know that in law school and in practice, just as in life, there will be mountains to climb. We admitted you, and so I believe you have what it takes to get to the top of any mountain. I never want you to forget that you have scaled mountains and that you have made it to the top.”  

First year law student, Maurice McKinney, commented on his experience at the Pinning Ceremony, stating that, “The pinning ceremony was emotional. It was a culmination of hard work—from taking the LSAT, applying to law school, and now finally starting the journey to become an attorney. The speeches were great. I felt like the school’s resources were well distributed because we all got suits from SuitShop. It was a great start to my legal career. I look forward to what UDC Law and the UDC Community have to offer.”   

UDC Law  partnered with SuitShop to provide each incoming 1L with suits for  this year’s Pinning Ceremony. After last year’s successful partnership with SuitShop in which every incoming student received a free suit jacket, this year, UDC Law with the DC School of Law Foundation gifted each incoming student with a two-piece suit. New students dazzled in their navy suits and donned their pins, symbolizing the beginning of their journey in the legal profession. Dean Twinette Johnson stated, “These suits are part of an initiative we started to acknowledge and recognize the importance of ensuring that our students have everything they need to be successful in the pursuit of a legal career.” Director of Development, Adeshola Akintobi, facilitated this partnership between UDC Law and SuitShop. She says that the suits “are a representation of the network of support that encircles each student”. 




Comments are closed.