Published: Sept. 6, 2022

On Tuesday, August 16, Colorado Law’s newest students got together in person for the very first time. The Class of 2025, made up of 12 LLMs, 11 MSLs, and 165 JD students, had the opportunity to eat, drink, and be merry at the Rayback Collective in beautiful Boulder. The next day, Orientation 2022 began in earnest.

Students at Rayback Collective

View the photo gallery from August 16's Orientation Kickoff at the Rayback Collective.

Colorado Law’s 2022 orientation opened with breakfast in the courtyard and special programming in the Wittemyer Courtroom. First, Dean Lolita Buckner Inniss welcomed the new students to their first year at Colorado Law saying how proud we are to have each and every one of them. “You have worked hard in a context that so many people did not experience in prior years—civic protests, COVID-19, mass shootings, war, political insurrections, and challenges to what we thought were established bodies of law,” she reflected. “You are here, and we salute you.”

Dean Inniss went on to offer a special salute to those who are first generation law students, referring to her own experiences as a fellow first-generation college and law school graduate. She spoke about compassion, the feeling of empathy and concern for problems and, even more than that, a desire and an actual willingness to do something about those problems.

“I’m urging you today to do something we don’t do often enough, in my opinion, and that is to have compassion for ourselves,” she implored. “Law School can be (to put it kindly and mildly) challenging, I think for that reason I’m going to ask you to be particularly compassionate to yourself. That means, rest, eat well, engage in the kinds of relaxation you may have enjoyed before coming to law school.”

The Dean then shared advice that her mother used to give her whenever she faced a new challenge. She would say, “Don’t go there and get new. Do not go getting new.” Dean Inniss explained that this is a colloquial expression drawn directly from the heart of the Black U.S. experience.

“What it basically means, in the plainest terms, is do not forget your best self. Don’t forget who you are, and what you are, and from whence you came. For me this is the heart of self-compassion. You are amazing people, that’s why you’re here. You are amazing people and that’s why you’re going to succeed here.”

Marci Fulton ‘04, Assistant Dean for Employer Relations and Outreach, also greeted the new class. She said this is her favorite day of the year because, “You guys show up with such incredible energy, whether it be in the form of enthusiasm, excitement, good humor or sheer terror, you bring it all in with you and by doing so you really renew this place each year.”

Fulton then welcomed the Honorable Richard L. Gabriel, Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court, to the podium to speak about what it means to become a lawyer and to administer the Oath of Professionalism.

Justice Gabriel said, “You’re embarking on a journey as part of what I, with all my heart, believe has always been and remains a noble and truly wonderful profession.” He reminded the audience that, “Taking the high road is not always easy, but it’s always right. And that’s what you want to aspire to do.” He concluded his remarks by expressing that as lawyers, graduates will have an amazing gift, because they can change the world.

Throughout the rest of the week, students took part in informational sessions, group lunches, introductions to law school classes and the Career Development Office, and so much more. Most importantly, they got to know their community of faculty, staff, and fellow students who will be their teachers and friends as they pursue their legal education.

Students at Orientation Reception

View the photo gallery from August 19's Orientation Reception at the Wolf Law Building.