Concord Law School Holds Commencement for 101 Graduates at Its 27th Graduation Ceremony

School’s Founding Dean, Dr. Jack R. Goetz, Delivers Keynote Address

LOS ANGELES--()--Concord Law School at Kaplan University, the nation’s first fully-online law school that opened its virtual doors two decades ago in 1998, held its 27th graduation today at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, conferring degrees on 101 new graduates.

“Concord Law School is proud of the passionate and talented professionals who embraced the challenge of completing our law program and pursuing their dreams, many balancing work and family responsibilities in the process”

The graduating class includes 45 graduates of the Juris Doctor (JD) program and 56 graduates of the Executive Juris Doctor (EJD) program.

Concord Law School Dean Martin Pritikin conferred the degrees.

“Concord Law School is proud of the passionate and talented professionals who embraced the challenge of completing our law program and pursuing their dreams, many balancing work and family responsibilities in the process,” said Dean Pritikin. “We are excited to watch these graduates drive the legal industry forward, using their skills and education to provide increased access to legal services for their communities and beyond.”

The keynote address was given by Dr. Jack R. Goetz, the founding dean and former president of Concord Law School. Dr. Goetz is a recognized expert in the field of online learning, and currently is serving a 3-year term as a Commissioner for the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). Dr. Goetz is a Lecturer of Law at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. He also sits on the Los Angeles Superior Court as a temporary judge, and serves the Los Angeles County Bar Association as Vice-Chair of its attorney client fee arbitrations and mediations in addition to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) as an arbitrator.

"It’s an honor to be back at Concord Law School. This school’s ability to make quality legal education accessible to well deserving adults is even more important now than in 1998 when it first opened for enrollment. Sixteen years after I presided over the first graduating class, this ceremony highlights the continuing dedication and commitment of both the faculty and graduates," said Dr. Goetz.

Several graduates were also recognized during the ceremony for their outstanding personal achievement:

  • Karen White (Elizabeth, CO) received the Kaplan Award for Legal Services for her excellence in professionalism and exemplary service to the community.
  • The Sue Lane Award, honoring a student from the graduating class who embodies strong work ethic, compassionate nature, and service to the community, was presented to Linda Smithies (Woodland, WA).
  • Simina Stuparu (Richmond, CA) and Michael Mize (Wichita, KS) each received the Jack R. Goetz Award for Academic Excellence, which recognizes the Juris Doctor graduates who achieved the highest cumulative grade point average.
  • The EJD Award in Excellence was awarded to Hans-Peter Brack (Herrliberg, Switzerland) who achieved the highest grade point average among the graduates.
  • Kari Flores Nelson (Angier, NC), Anna Jerden (West Hills, CA) and Michael Mize (Wichita, KS) each received the Moot Court Award, given to the members of Concord’s Moot Court Team for their commitment to excellence in their preparation and performance at the 2017 Roger J. Traynor California Appellate Moot Court Competition, the state's oldest and largest moot court tournament. At the competition, the team won the William A. Rutter Award for Best Brief.

Judge Michael Harwin conducted the ceremonial swearing in of previous Concord graduates Harpeet Singh (Salida, CA), Susan Lawrence (Lancaster, CA), and Luke Holtzman (Westminster, CA) at the commencement. Judge Harwin has served the Los Angeles County Superior Court for more 35 years, and previously held roles at Loyola Law School and the University of West Los Angeles School of Law as an Assistant Dean and Associate Dean, respectively.

For more information about Concord Law School and its programs, go to

About Concord Law School

Concord Law School is the nation's first fully online law school. Since opening its virtual doors in 1998, Concord has educated more than 2,200 graduates who have earned their Juris Doctor (JD) or Executive Juris DoctorSM (EJD) degree. Concord Law School is part of Kaplan University, which is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. Kaplan University, furthermore, is part of Kaplan Higher Education LLC and Kaplan, Inc., which serves over one million students globally each year through its array of higher education, test preparation, professional education, English-language training and university preparation to individuals, institutions, and businesses. Kaplan has operations in over 30 countries, employs more than 15,000 full- and part-time professionals, and maintains relationships and partnerships with more than 1,000 school districts, colleges, and universities, and over 2,600 corporations and businesses. Kaplan is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC) and its largest division. For more information, please visit,


For Concord Law School
Amy Hawkinson
Director, Public Relations

Release Summary

The graduating class of Concord Law School includes 45 graduates of the JD program and 56 graduates of the EJD program.

Concord Law School