Looking for a great way to end your week? How about attending a graduation?

Now, I am not someone who ever takes well to those events. I’ve had my own share and almost always find them long, hot and at least a little over the top on the pomposity scale.

But last Friday’s event confounded all those expectations. The speakers—including keynote Vice Chief Justice Andrew Hurwitz—were enjoyable and even inspiring. And the honorees signal something important and positive about the legal profession in Arizona.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It was the graduation of the third class of the Bar Leadership Institute of the State Bar of Arizona. It acknowledged the hard work of 17 people who had given a significant portion of their past year to attend seminars and give of themselves. Here’s a description of the BLI:

“The Leadership Institute is a nine-month program designed to foster the professional growth and enhance the leadership skills of a diverse group of Arizona attorneys. In doing so, we hope to increase participation and visibility in the State Bar and community-at-large among historically under-represented groups, with a focus on racial, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability and geographic diversity.”

The July/August issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine will have a story about the event. It also will include better photos than the bad ones that I am able to snap (see above). Until then, here are some of my blurry masterpieces. And congratulations, graduates!

Here are the names of the legal leaders who graduated Friday:

Ann-Marie Alameddin

Alison Bachus

Diandra Benally

Samuel Chang

Ali Farhang

Lukas Grabiec

Amanda Ho

Troy Larkin

Victoria Levin

Lisa Maxi-Mullins

Robert Reder

Juan Rocha

Nicole Siqueiros

Bianca Stoll

Benjamin Taylor II

Alfred Urbina

D’Arcy Vollbracht