Notre Dame, IN


What a year it's been. When we arrived, many of us questioned whether we would even make it a full semester, leave alone a year, in person. However, over the last year, we have all done something extremely special together. We were able to maintain traditions such as Fr. Mike, cultivate a true sense of community, and create a welcoming environment, all while respecting public health guidelines. In a normal year we would have an event to celebrate another successful year in person, but for obvious reasons we cannot, so I write this note to you all.

To the Class of 2021, we made it. No cold-call, pandemic, or Above the Law article could stop us from getting to where we are today. As we prepare to enter a legal market faced with overwhelming amounts of doubt and uncertainty, we can always find assurance that our experiences over the last three years have prepared us for anything the world may throw at us. We leave Notre Dame with not only a first-rate education, but with a great community. It is now our responsibility to foster and develop that community for the next generation.

To those returning to Notre Dame in the fall, the best is yet to come. You have all shown tremendous perseverance, resilience, and dedication in the face of unprecedented circumstances. All of you should be proud of the strength you have demonstrated in this past year. As we look forward to the future, I hope you all take a chance to get involved in the law school (and I don't mean this as a shameless plug for SBA leadership). Step outside your comfort zone. Challenge yourself and your peers. Law school is an amazing opportunity to grow and learn personally and professionally. Don't let it pass you by.

To the faculty and staff, thank you. There are not enough words to capture how invaluable you all have been to our personal and professional development. I know I speak for all when I say that it has been an honor and privilege to know you as more than just professors, but to hold you all as friends, mentors, and colleagues.

As we look forward, I am reminded of the quote by Dennis Gabor that "we cannot predict the future. But we can create it." Together, we can create an NDLS that rebounds from the effects of this pandemic stronger than ever. We can reaffirm our commitment to being a community dedicated to inclusion and respect. We can cultivate minds and foster careers that truly embody what it means to be a Different Kind of Lawyer. We can do all these things, and I have no doubt we will.

On behalf of the entire SBA- Vice President Nicole Barba, Secretary Krystal Moczygemba, and Treasurer Stephanie Wong, thank you. It has been our honor and privilege to serve you. We are proud of what we accomplished in the past year and look forward to seeing what the next SBA administration will accomplish.

In Notre Dame,

Keith Ongeri

President, Student Bar Association 2020-2021