Commencement, Law Schools

Open Thread: 2010 Commencement Speakers

It’s May. Soon it will be June. The class of 2010 is about to graduate. And sure, everything will suck for them, but let’s give them their due:

Ahh, that’s the good stuff.

But sometime after that song is played, and before the students become acquainted with the nutritional properties of mayonnaise sandwiches, somebody will try to stand up and put their aborted legal careers in some sort of context.

Who will be doing the commencement address at your law school this year? More importantly, are any of the speakers hiring?

Students are not always happy about the speaker chosen to address and advise them on how to use that hard-earned degree. At the University of Michigan Law School, alum and White House adviser Valerie Jarrett offered words of wisdom from the West Wing. Meanwhile, her boss addressed the university as a whole. Long-time White House correspondent Helen Thomas said historians will likely rate it as one of Obama’s best. But not everyone was pleased to hear from the Big O. A Mich Law student sent us photos of a sign put up in the law quad on the Saturday morning before commencement (click to enlarge):

Here’s a round-up of law school speakers:

  • US Attorney General Eric Holder made the rounds, as speaker for Columbia, Boston University, and American University-WCL.
  • HLS alum Samantha Power will be Harvard Law’s speaker.
  • YLS alum Bill Clinton will be Yale Law’s University’s speaker.
  • The University of Arizona speaker who has garnered the most attention here at ATL has been Ted Vogt. But he was just the student speaker. The official commencement speaker there was dean emerita (and nominated law school dean hottie) Toni Massaro.
  • Boston College law grads got to hear from alum, and recent addition to the U.S. Senate, Scott Brown. Says one grad: “That’s three years in a row BC’s been able to secure a national political figure: Mukasey, Bernanke and now Brown.” Another grad hoped for a photo op with Brown in front of a pick-up truck.
  • We had heard that Jeffrey Toobin would be speaking to grads of both the University of Pennsylvania and Golden Gate University School of Law. Toobin made it to Philly yesterday, but apparently decided a tier 4 school didn’t warrant a West Coast trip. Instead, Golden Gaters were graced by words from MoFo partner James J. Brosnahan.
  • Vermont grads get to hear from Howard Dean. Says a tipster: “I wonder if South Royalton is big enough…”
  • Washington & Lee’s commencement speaker is ABA president and White & Case partner Carolyn Lamm.

It’s hard to imagine what any of these speakers can say to give graduating law students any hope on their way out of the door (and into debt repayments). What is MoFo’s Brosnahan going to say to the assemblage at Golden Gate? “Many of you have no jobs and résumés my firm wouldn’t touch. But you never know. Some of you might be able to get out of this ruinous financial hole in your lifetime.”

Did the former Arizona dean talk about how there would soon be a thriving immigration law industry in the state?

Bill Clinton, probably the speaker best able to put a positive spin on the crappy legal economy, drew the easiest assignment: “I know a lot of you out there today have sweethearts you met in law school. But believe me: Do not. Get. Married. To that woman.”

In any event, we’re missing a lot of schools. Let us know who spoke at your commencement, in the comments.

Update: Comprehensive list from Paul Caron here.

Earlier: Let’s Commence Commencement Speaker Watch

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