FAMU Law grads get sworn in remotely

Matthew Bryan still donned a suit and tie, to look his best. He still reached out to his parents just beforehand, to hear their encouraging words. After all, few things are as memorable as taking the Oath of Admission to the Florida Bar.

The Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law 2019 graduate did so in his living room, though

From his laptop.  

We'll give you one guess as to why. 

Bryan was joined by seven other grads in what was the first ever virtual ceremony for FAMU Law. 

They were greeted on their screens by Judge Faye Allen of the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court who administered the oath. 

"This was different, but the times are different. We are experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic right now and that calls for finding creative ways to move forward in life while stopping the spread of the coronavirus,” Bryan said. “The virtual oath was definitely the best option and I am proud to officially be admitted to the Florida Bar.” 

While there is a stay-at-home order underway in Orange County and other parts of the state due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders at FAMU Law and Judges at the Ninth Judicial Circuit became very creative and coordinated a virtual Florida Bar Oath Ceremony that could be administered without stepping outside of the home. 

Normally, oaths must be taken in-person, and the college of law usually holds the ceremony in the moot courtroom. But, given the social distancing orders, the Florida Supreme Court has lifted this requirement, which allows judges to perform the swearing-in ceremony remotely.  

“We’re thankful to the judges of the Ninth Judicial Circuit for providing this virtual opportunity for our graduates,” said Interim Dean Nicky Boothe Perry, JD. “This is a special, once-in-a- lifetime memory for new lawyers that they’ll never forget.” 

For new lawyers like Bryan, the virtual option is just another step in making his dream to become a lawyer come true.  

“I’m following in my dad’s footsteps. My dad has his own law firm in Fort Lauderdale,” said Bryan. “This moment is very important to my family and friends and since the bar oath was virtual, my mom invited 80 of our family and friends to join in while I gave my oath. It was fantastic. This Rattler for Justice is ready to strike.” 

 Pictured:  Ninth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Faye Allen administers the Oath of Admission to the Florida Bar in a virtual ceremony.