September 1, 2021

FAMU Law Alum and Orange County Judge Andrew Bain  

Inspires Graduates to go Beyond Dreams


ORLANDO, Fla – As a youngster growing up in South Florida, the challenges were great for Andrew Bain. He experienced a learning disability that led counselors to predict he would not complete high school. Bain recalls seeing media images portraying young Black men as criminals and drug dealers who were more likely to be killed than to succeed. Bain worked hard, graduated with high honors, attended college with a full scholarship, and overcame the odds in school and in life.

Today, the former NFL player is a Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law alumnus and a sitting judge in the Ninth Judicial Circuit. He was appointed to the bench by Governor Ron DeSantis. He’s the first Black male judge to be seated in Orange County in just over 25 years.

FAMU Law administration did not have far to look when considering a perfect keynote speaker for imperfect times. Judge Bain, a 2013 graduate of FAMU Law, was selected and took the role seriously. Judge Bain looked out at the audience of eager lawyers at the 16thAnnual FAMU Law Hooding ceremony in downtown Orlando and offered three points to follow.

“As you enter this new chapter in your life, let me challenge you in three ways,” Judge Bain said. “Choose love over fear, freedom over limitation, and professionalism over money. You can go beyond your dreams. You can choose not to accept any limitations on your future.”

Graduates also heard from FAMU President Larry Robinson, Ph.D. who stressed the importance of continuing to support the College of Law during their future law careers. “Your commitment to advocacy in the practice of the law and being a catalyst for change, while paying tribute to the University’s legacy, makes you a “Rattler for Justice”.

The ceremony recognized more than 40 graduates of the fall 2019, spring 2020, and summer 2020 classes. Due to the pandemic, the ceremony was delayed for over a year. A limited number of graduates returned to be recognized and receive the doctoral hood for the juris doctor degree.

FAMU College of Law Dean Deidré A. Keller, who presided over the ceremony, commended the graduates on their dedication to their alma mater. “I was so pleased to see so many graduates return for this ceremony after taking bar exams in unprecedented circumstances, starting new jobs, and pursuing other life goals. They demonstrated exceptional resilience that will serve them well in the profession.”

Kai Murphy of Key West, who was recognized as the valedictorian, urged his classmates to “love deep and be unapologetically you.” He said “Dream big, and never be afraid to be the weirdest person in the room. All the best people are.”

The ceremony also featured FAMU Law Professor Ann Marie Cavazos, who, as president of the FAMU Faculty Senate, brought greetings on behalf of the FAMU Board of Trustees. “You are the graduating classes that insisted on having a Graduation Ceremony,” Cavazos said. “You persisted in this endeavor until you saw it come to fruition – much like you did all three or four years in law school.”

Also, joining the dais: FAMU Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Maurice Edington; FAMU Law Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Markita Cooper, who read the names; FAMU Law Associate Dean for Student Learning and Assessment Jonathan Fineman, who draped hoods on the graduates; and FAMU Law Associate Dean for Student Services and Administration Reginald Green, who served as the graduate marshal.

The FAMU Law Hooding ceremony took place on Saturday, August 28, 2021 at the Dr. Phillips Center Frontyard Festival at Seneff Arts Plaza in Orlando.


About FAMU College of Law


The FAMU College of Law is located in the heart of Downtown Orlando, just steps from the George C. Young United States Courthouse and Federal Building; and blocks from governmental offices, major law firms, large corporations and legal service agencies.

The college’s prime location provides students with direct access to the area’s largest employers of individuals with law degrees, offering our students and graduates ample avenues to gain practical experience in the legal profession.

With tuition among the lowest of the 13 law schools in Florida, along with a full-time day program and a part-time evening program, the college is distinctly positioned to offer the traditional student and the working professional a chance to earn a law degree while accruing minimal debt.

Thanks to its renowned faculty, the college focuses on academic excellence in the classroom; emphasizes practical experience and public service within its clinical programs; and stresses professionalism through its co-curricular activities.                               

Media Contact: Stephanie Strong, Information & Media Services Coordinator, 407-784-1554