Commencement Ceremonies Held May 10, 2014
The University of North Dakota School of Law conferred the degree of Juris Doctor (J.D.) during commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 10, 2014 at the Chester Fritz Auditorium on the UND campus in Grand Forks. Sixty-two candidates participated in the ceremony.
The ceremony was officiated by UND President Robert Kelley and UND School of Law Dean Kathryn R.L. Rand and featured commencement speaker Daniel L. Hovland, United States District Court Judge for the District of North Dakota.
A special brunch and program was held for all graduates and their guests immediately following the ceremony. The program featured a special presentation for five students recognized for their leadership. The recipients of the American Law Institute Leadership and Continuing Legal Education Scholarship included Beth Alvine, Tim Heise, Leah Leibl, Jill Martin and Lily Schoenack. In addition, Leah Leibl was named the W. Jeremy Davis Leadership Scholarship for 2014.
You can view photos from the day at our Flickr page and the video of the ceremony will be added soon.
Commencement Speaker: Judge Daniel L. Hovland
Daniel Hovland received his bachelor of arts degree and graduated summa cum laude from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota in May 1976. At Concordia College, he played varsity basketball for four years and was a member of the Alpha Honor Society and the Phi Gamma Mu Social Science Honor Society.
Hovland then attended the University of North Dakota School of Law in Grand Forks and graduated with distinction in May 1979. While at UND Law School, he was a senior editor of the North Dakota Law Review and was a member of the Legal Aid Association.
After graduating from law school, Hovland served for one year as a law clerk to Chief Justice Ralph J. Erickstad of the North Dakota Supreme Court. Following his clerkship, he took a position as an Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the Attorney General for the State of North Dakota. He worked in the civil and criminal litigation divisions from August 1980 - July 1983 and was Director of the Consumer Fraud Division. While employed as an Assistant Attorney General, Hovland was the recipient of the Burgum-Johanson Lawyer of the Year Award for the State of North Dakota in 1982.
Hovland was a partner with the law firm of Fleck Mather & Strutz, Ltd., in Bismarck from 1983 - 1994. At Fleck Mather & Strutz, he was engaged in a wide variety of civil litigation and trial work with an emphasis on medical malpractice defense, personal injury, wrongful death, product liability, and employment law.
In April 1994, Hovland joined the law firm of Smith Bakke Hovland & Oppegard, P.C., as a partner and trial attorney. He was also employed as an Administrative Law Judge for the State of North Dakota from 1994 - 2002.
On June 26, 2002, Hovland was nominated for appointment as a federal district court judge by President George W. Bush. He was confirmed by the Senate and sworn in on November 26, 2002.