UND Law celebrates Class of 2017 at Commencement Ceremony on May 6
The University of North Dakota School of Law conferred the degree of Juris Doctor (J.D.) during its commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 6, 2017 at the Chester Fritz Auditorium on the University of North Dakota campus in Grand Forks. Paul LeBel, Dean Emeritus, former UND Provost and Law Faculty, delivered the commencement address.
Commencement Speech by Paul LeBel - begins at 19:40
Hooding of Graduates - begins at 43:25
President Kennedy remarks - begins at 1:12:05
Commencement Speaker: Paul LeBel
Paul LeBel came to the University of North Dakota as Dean of the School of Law in May 2004. While Dean, he was a member of the State Bar Association of North Dakota Board of Governors and the North Dakota Bar Foundation Board of Directors. He served as UND’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs from 2009 to 2013, and then returned to teaching full-time at the School of Law until his retirement in June 2016. As Provost, he was a member of the Board of Directors of the American College of Norway in Moss, Norway. He earned a B.A. in American Literature from the George Washington University in 1971 and a J.D. from the University of Florida in 1977. Between college and law school, he served in the United States Air Force Air Weather Service for four years. He was elected to membership in the American Law Institute in 1993.
He began teaching law as a teaching fellow at the University of Illinois in 1977 and took a faculty position in 1978 at the University of Alabama. He spent 15 years on the faculty of the College of William and Mary, the last seven of which were as the James Goold Cutler Professor of Law. He has had visiting professor positions at the University of Illinois (1991) and the University of Richmond (1999-2000). Immediately prior to his appointment as Dean at UND, he had served as Dean and was on the faculty of the Florida State University College of Law. His primary scholarly interest is in the field of personal injury law, including Torts, Products Liability, Injury Compensation Theory, and Workers’ Compensation. He has also taught and written about law and literature, and has as one of his retirement projects a book on the ethic of law and land in the literature of Appalachia. He is also writing a play, only in part as therapy to prevent himself from writing a novel about his experience as Provost. He and Lucinda, his wife of 44 years (and 1 day!), currently live in Williamsburg, Virginia, where they retired to be with their daughter, son-in-law, and four grandchildren, who only have to walk across a backyard to magically appear on their back deck.