Joining the legal profession 'with some of my closest friends'

Elon Law helped support a Greensboro Bar Association springtime swearing-in ceremony for newly licensed attorneys, most of whom were December graduates of the law school’s 2.5-year program centered on learning by doing.

Dozens of Elon Law alumni have been sworn into the practice of law in recent weeks after passing the February 2019 Bar Exam in jurisdictions across the country – and the largest number at one time took their oaths just blocks from their downtown Greensboro law school.

Thirteen Elon Law graduates participated in a May 23, 2019, swearing-in ceremony inside the Old Guilford County Courthouse where judges from the U.S. District Court, the North Carolina Superior Court, and the North Carolina District Court oversaw their entry into the profession.

The Greensboro Bar Association Young Lawyers Section has hosted a swearing-in ceremony for newly licensed attorneys each autumn as a way to welcome them to the practice of law and to the GBA itself.

For the first time, the GBA organized a springtime ceremony, which accommodated the large number of Elon Law alumni who now take the February exam after finishing their studies in 2.5 years. The swearing-in was open to anyone regardless of where they graduated law school. All but three of those taking part were Elon Law alumni.

The Hon. Theresa Vincent, president of the Greensboro Bar Association and a North Carolina District Court judge, delivered remarks on behalf of the organization. The Hon. William Osteen of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina; the Hon. Lora Cubbage of the North Carolina Superior Court; and the Hon. Marcus Shields of the North Carolina District Court also shared advice with the new attorneys.

“We strive to create a ceremony that allows the newly licensed attorneys to celebrate their accomplishments and to honor and include those who offered encouragement and support along the way,” said Nicole Patino L’15, who heads up the GBA’s Young Lawyers Section. “Our goal is to provide new attorneys with a ready-made support network that they can use as they embark on the practice of law.”

Alumni said they were delighted to be surrounded by classmates at such an important moment in their professional journeys.

Being a product of Elon Law's innovative curriculum and successfully passing the Uniform Bar Exam has propelled me to the forefront of the legal market and has provided me with a head start to my legal career,” said Jonathan Parisi L’18. “Then to be sworn into the profession that I love while surrounded by some of my closest friends was an incredibly rewarding experience. I’m excited to witness the changes we will make in the lives of those in our communities."

Grace Lay L’18, recipient of Elon Law’s 2018 Distinguished Service Award, said a legal career has been a dream of hers since elementary school. “To be able to graduate in 2.5 years was great because I was able to reach my goal faster,” she said. “I’m also able to be a practicing attorney before graduates from other law schools have even started studying for the bar.”

A swearing-in ceremony filled with Elon Law alumni reminded him how fast relationships can grow, Lay said, “and now I have friendships that will truly last a lifetime.”

Elon Law alumni sworn into North Carolina State Bar and/or admitted to the federal bar on May 23, 2019


  • Julia Michelle Brown
  • Gia Gaster
  • Seth Gerringer
  • Morgan Harvey
  • Grace Elizabeth Lay
  • Robert Martin
  • Mariah E. Patterson
  • Jonathan Michael Parisi
  • Elizabeth Anne Ray
  • Abigail Comfort Seymour
  • Melissa K. Sumner
  • Alexis Sylvester
  • Madison Thornton