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Only the commencement ceremony was virtual. The degrees were the real rewards of years of study. The pride was real. The advice was real.

With the in-person commencement that had been the destination of 120 Juris Doctor students and three Master of Legal Studies students when they began their studies delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic, Chase College of Law acknowledged their accomplishments May 8 in a virtual ceremony.

Even virtually, there were reminders of the in-person commencement that will occur in December: Professor John Bickers, whom graduating students had selected as Professor of the Year, was there from his home as grand marshal. Professors Michael Mannheimer and Krista Burton, selected as marshals, were there from their homes. And Dean Judith Daar was there from her home, with a virtual background of springtime on the Northern Kentucky University campus.

The pride was real as names of graduates were read during the 30-minute ceremony (which Dean Daar noted was shorter than commencement will be in December, when there will be plenty of time for real applause).

Her advice, though, to graduates was real, even in a virtual setting. Students ask, she said, if there is a secret to passing the bar exam most of them will take this summer. There is: Relying on the high-quality legal education Chase professors have provided and preparing diligently. Her expectation based on it: Every Chase graduate is prepared to pass a bar exam and to become a lawyer.