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CUNY Law Welcomes First-Year Students

August 25, 2008

“Dream the impossible dream,” and, contrary to the lyrics of popular songwriter John Mayer, “don’t wait for the world to change.” Change it yourself, the Honorable Ronald L. Ellis, U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of New York, told the Class of 2011. “If you can’t dream, then you can’t achieve.”

“The idea of waiting for the world to change didn’t fit with my history,” said Ellis. Freedom, he noted, “is never given by the oppressors. It must be demanded by the oppressed.”

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Natalie Gomez-Velez welcomes incoming students.
A longtime supporter of the CUNY School of Law, Ellis told the students they have at CUNY a “unique opportunity to learn the skills to become lawyers and to develop the passion to serve.”

Invoking the words of Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Pastor Martin Niemöller, who lived through World War II, Ellis reminded the students that their desire to serve those less fortunate and to “practice law in the service of human needs will help in the effort to light a candle for justice.”

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