US Attorney Wifredo Ferrer Delivers St. Thomas Law Commencement Address


Wifredo A. Ferrer, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, delivered an inspirational commencement address to the St. Thomas University School of Law Class of 2014 during its May 10th ceremony. Before a crowd of 1,250 proud family members and friends in St. Thomas’s Fernandez Family Center for Leadership, Mr. Ferrer congratulated the 180 J.D. graduates, 20 LL.M. graduates, and one J.S.D. student on their hard work over the past few years. Drawing on a lesson he learned from his own parents who emigrated from Cuba in 1960 with one suitcase and a strong family emphasis on the importance of education, Mr. Ferrer stated that “nothing can replace hard work and optimism. The lessons that have driven me my whole life came from my parents.”

Mr. Ferrer, who was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate in 2010 to serve as the U.S. Attorney here in South Florida, also encouraged the graduates to get involved in their respective communities. “We in the legal profession do not sit on the sidelines. We are here to make a difference.” During his career, Mr. Ferrer has been recognized as one of the top government attorneys by both South Florida Legal Guide and Florida Legal Elite. In addition, he received the Attorney General’s Medal in 2000, and Superior Performance and Special Merit Awards for his work as an Assistant U.S. Attorney.

A Miami native and graduate of the University of Miami, Mr. Ferrer attended the University of Pennsylvania Law School where he was an editor of the Law Review, president of his class, and a cum laude graduate. Perhaps reflecting on his own career accomplishments, Mr. Ferrer concluded his remarks by offering to the future lawyers two pieces of advice for a successful career: “Do it the right way and treat everyone with respect. Your reputation and your integrity are the most important things you have.”