Law School Diploma and Hooding Ceremony, 530th Convocation

Law School Diploma and Hooding Ceremony, 530th Convocation

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[MUSIC PLAYING] THOMAS J. MILES: Good morning. Be seated. Members of the class of
2017, family, friends, welcome to the
19th annual hooding ceremony of the University
of Chicago Law School. [APPLAUSE] Today’s a day for celebration. You, the class of 2017, have
accomplished a great deal. Not long ago, you came
to the law school, and had your first class. You may remember
approaching that first class with a sense of
excitement, curiosity, even maybe a little
bit of anxiety. And in that first class,
or shortly thereafter, you may have
encountered a nephew, who had given up
alcohol, tobacco, swearing cards, and billiards. You may have encountered a fox
that was pursued by one person, and taken by another. You may have encountered a
political appointee, who sought the delivery of a commission. Your encounters with these
figures, and many others, were then the focus of your
intense mental energies, and were perhaps
sources of confusion. Now these figures trigger
wistful affection, a touch of nostalgia,
they’ve become old friends. And the fact that they
have become old friends, indicates how much
you have learned, and how you have grown in
your time at the law school. You have learned a
good deal of the law itself, good old legal doctrine. Between now and the bar exam,
July 25th in most states, in case you’ve forgotten,
you’ll learn a lot more about the substance of the law. But much of your learning
at the law school was not about specific
points of doctrine, rather you learned how to
think about legal problems, how to interpret legal texts, how to
engage in common law reasoning, how to disentangle
thorny legal problems. You have learned to
approach legal questions with rigorous thought
and careful reasoning. An analytical approach
requires an openness to ideas, and a commitment
to subject those ideas to careful scrutiny. This dedication
to, and indeed joy in serious analytical
inquiry is the hallmark of a University
of Chicago lawyer. In a few moments, you
will receive your degree, and your academic hood, and
you will become a University of Chicago Law School graduate. But to the extent that you
have dedicated yourself, to the serious analytical
inquiry in law, and the fact that you are
all sitting here today suggests you have,
you have already been transformed into a
University of Chicago lawyer. You’re no longer the
student who is confused about the nephew’s
promise, or the fox, or the appointee’s commission. You are now a lawyer
equipped to think about, and to tackle the
hardest legal questions. This transformation
didn’t happen overnight. It happened over many nights and
days of study and discussion, with your faculty and
with your classmates. All of the hours that you
spent in the classrooms, and in the clinics, in the
carrels in the library, in the conference rooms,
in the green lounge, and in the journal offices,
studying, outlining, writing, rewriting, rewriting
again, discussing, arguing, and ultimately thinking
are what transformed you. It was hard work,
and you did it. Congratulations. But you didn’t– [APPLAUSE] But you didn’t do it alone. It’s worth
remembering two groups of people who helped you. First, nearly all
of you had the help of family and close friends. Sometimes family and
friends helped you in very tangible ways. Maybe they sent you mittens
when you encountered your first Chicago winter. Maybe they sent you
cookies as the deadline for the brief approach. Maybe they paid your rent. They also help you
in intangible ways. They cheered you up when you
thought you wouldn’t ever finish law school, because
you were so frustrated by that fox, or that nephew’s
promise, or that appointee’s commission. Then they gave you rest when
all the hard work of law school left you tired. And they were a patient ear when
you were so excited about what you were learning
in the law school, you couldn’t stop
talking about law. So in tangible and intangible
ways, they helped you get here. This afternoon, when
we go back to the law school for the reception,
and they congratulate you, don’t forget to thank them. It’s also worth remembering
the second group of people who helped get you here today. They’re sitting all around
you, your classmates. At times they help you
in very direct ways. They worked side-by-side
with you in the clinic, drafting a motion. Maybe they were your partner
in the Moot Court competition. They proofread your
first paper, they were your partner in the new
social venture challenge. They wrote you detailed
feedback on your comment draft. At other times, they helped
you in less direct ways. They gave an answer to a
cold call that was so great, you took notes on
it, and it helped you understand the case better. They asked a question
that was so insightful, you wished that
you had asked it. You may have noticed that
serious analytical inquiry at the University of Chicago
is not a solo enterprise, it’s usually a
collective endeavor, a form of joint production. Your classmates
helped you get here, and you, in turn,
have helped them. So here you are through
your own hard work, through the support
of family and friends, and through the
help of classmates, and maybe with a bit of
input from the faculty. You are about to
graduate, you’re about to have University of
Chicago lawyer forever attached to your professional life. And although you
leave us physically, your association with the
law school is permanent. It’s what you wanted when you
applied and enrolled here, and it’s what we wanted
too when we admitted you. And now together let’s
enjoy this relationship, this mutual association. I can assure you that
the faculty stands ready to do its
part to make sure that the hallmark of the
University of Chicago lawyer continues to be
dedication in, and joy in serious analytical inquiry. When the JD class of 2020
and the LLM class of 2018 matriculate next autumn,
we will introduce them to the fox, and the nephew,
and the political appointee just as we did for you. But now you must also do your
part to maintain that hallmark. Most people’s impressions
of the law school come not from reading the
scholarship of the faculty, it comes from encountering
one of our graduates, and observing their
professionalism and the quality of the work that they do. Now as you graduate, you
will help through your work, through your professional
life, to shape what it means to be a University
of Chicago Law School graduate. Your careers may take
many paths, clerkships, government service,
big law, small law, leaving the practice of
law altogether for business or some other great adventure. All of these paths are
worthwhile, all of them need rigorous analytical
minds, and sound judgment. So as you go into
the world, continue to learn and to think
hard, and to analyze those thorny questions closely. Your education doesn’t end when
you walk out of this chapel or when you leave the bar exam
on July 26, in most states. Continue to collaborate
with your colleagues, just as you did with
your classmates. Keep in touch with your
law school classmates, they are the lawyers
who know you best. And please stay connected
to the law school, stay in touch with
our faculty, tell them about the exciting
work that you do. And tell them and
share with them your professional successes
and professional challenges. Today we celebrate
your accomplishments, we are proud of you. Now go out into the world
and make us proud again. [APPLAUSE] It’s now my honor and
privilege to introduce our distinguished alumni of
the year, Lisa Monaco, class of 1997. Miss Monaco has pursued
an extraordinary career in public service. Her interest in government began
before she came to law school. She graduated from
Harvard College, and then worked as a researcher
in the Senate Judiciary Committee, under then
chairman Joe Biden. Among the legislation
that she worked on was the Violence
Against Women Act. As a student here
at the law school, Miss Monaco served as the Editor
in Chief of the law school RoundTable. And upon graduation, she clerked
for the honorable Jane Richards Roth on the US court of
Appeals for the Third Circuit. Miss Monaco then began a
stellar and varied career in the Department of Justice,
and in federal law enforcement. First, she served as counsel to
US Attorney General Janet Reno. She then became an
assistant US Attorney, and was assigned to
the Enron task force. As a member of the task
force, she won multiple awards from the Department of Justice,
including its highest honor for exceptional service. She then became
the Chief of Staff to then FBI Director
Robert Mueller. She returned to the
Department of Justice, and focused on national
security issues. She became the Assistant
Attorney General for national security, where she
oversaw 350 lawyers and staff. And she had responsibility
for matters ranging from espionage to
terrorism cases to applications
for FISA warrants. In 2013, President Obama,
who had taught her Con Law 3 when she was a student
of the law school, appointed her to be
the Homeland Security adviser, the chief
counter-terrorism adviser to the President. And in this role, she
had responsibility for security issues ranging
from terrorist threats to cyber security to public
health emergency such as Ebola. With a portfolio of such
weighty responsibilities, President Obama came
to call her Dr. Doom. As impressive as these
accomplishments are, the best way to really know a law school
graduate is to, of course, ask their classmates. So I did. I found one of Miss
Monaco’s classmates, who had worked with
her on a clinic and prepared a trial together. Her classmate said
this about her, that her professional
success came as no surprise. That Miss Monaco was, and I
quote, “perfectly, and deeply prepared. An incredibly hard worker, and
also funny, and a very good friend.” The classmate continued
that once Miss Monaco became the leader of our
national security system, she always felt
safer, because she knew the strength
of Miss Monaco’s character, and the
strength of her purpose. Please join me in
welcoming Lisa Monaco. [APPLAUSE] LISA MONACO: Thank you
very much, Dean Miles. It’s great to be here. I want to say thank you to the
other alumni who are present, the soon-to-be
alumni, distinguished guests, members of the faculty. Most importantly, though, I want
to say thank you, and welcome, and congratulations
to the class of 2017, and to your family and your
friends who are here today. It is really a privilege
to be part of this day. Now having spent the last
several years in the White House, I could talk about
all those grim topics that Dean Miles mentioned. Because I did use
my rigorous training that I received here every
day in the White House. But, today I want
to talk about how being armed with that training
and possessing a craft is only a start. I want to talk
about what it means to be a lawyer in public service
at this moment in our country. And why, although,
you absolutely should savor that
sense of accomplishment that you feel today,
it is well-deserved, and we know it is hard-earned,
your work is not yet done. Now I confess to indulging
in a bit of nostalgia as I was preparing
for my remarks, and I was thinking about the
last time I was in this chapel. And it actually wasn’t
on my graduation, it was three years
later when I came with my then boss,
Attorney General Janet Reno to attend a memorial service
for one of her predecessors, the 71st Attorney General, the
great former dean of this law school, and president of
this university, Edward Levy. Now the dignitaries that day
were all on hand to honor a man who not only was a
fixture here in Hyde Park, but who had restored
faith in an institution, and in the rule of law. And the credibility
of an institution, the Department of Justice,
that I would come to love. And that would have
everything to do with forming me as a lawyer,
and as a public servant. Ed Levy became Attorney General
in the throes of Watergate. It was 1975, and the
Watergate scandals had thrown institutions
fundamental to our democracy into chaos. Norms and traditions
were upended by the actions of a
president and those who served with him that did
not respect the rule of law. Faith in government,
accountability of those in power,
credibility of institutions that we rely on for the
impartial administration of justice, we’re
all in question. Our institutions
were being tested in ways we hadn’t seen before. Ed Levy took the helm at
the Department of Justice after the famous Saturday
Night Massacre, the resignation of an attorney general
and his deputy, and after the firing of the
man who was investigating the president. Now Levy is rightly credited
with restoring faith in the Justice Department,
and its proper role. That of an independent
investigator and prosecutor free of political influence. He did so, by
among other things, establishing a set of
guidelines to govern the most sensitive
investigations in keeping them free of politics. He is said to be the model of
the modern attorney general, because of two
fundamental things. He believed deeply in
the separation of powers, and the independence of law
enforcement from politics. Now the first is, of course,
enshrined in our constitution, but the second is
largely a function of customs that have grown
up over time to ensure faith in institutions that we rely on
to enforce and uphold the laws. Levy understood that these
customs require custodians. He understood that the
institutions entrusted with great powers must
be guided by norms that check those powers, and
ensure public servants who are temporarily
entrusted with power are held accountable for
how they exercise it. This understanding
allowed Levy to reverse a crisis of legitimacy
in Washington by restoring the public’s
faith in an institution, and belief in the rule of law. Now I begin with this
reference to Ed Levy, because he exemplifies
the role the lawyer has in upholding norms and institutions
at a time of crisis and change. The world you enter, when
you cross the midway today, holds tremendous challenges. Whether in public
service, or wherever you decide to
apply your talents, you’ll be called upon to
confront hard questions. You’ll have the opportunity, and
I believe the responsibility, to navigate those questions
while following practices that can make a difference
between merely advising on what is allowed,
and doing what is wise. So today I want to share a
few observations from my time at tables in government. I want to make the case to
you that the skills you leave with today are necessary,
but not sufficient, to enable you to
confront hard questions. I hope to persuade you
that no one can teach you the craft of being a lawyer
better than the University of Chicago. But you will also need to bring
to it your own framework, that extends beyond that craft,
to navigate a complex world, and to act as the custodians
we need today, and will in the future. We are experiencing some of
the most complex challenges in our nation’s history. Now this might sound like
commencement hyperbole to you, or maybe not. Only time will tell, and
you will help us decide. The forces of globalization,
technological evolution, proliferation of powers that
defy traditional structures, whether it’s ISIS, an
increasingly assertive Russia, a new microbe, or artificial
intelligence, the problems you face today make me convinced
that Tom Friedman has it right when he says, we are living
in an age of acceleration. The problems you face today will
challenge the very conceptions we have now of
privacy and security, of the law of nations, and the
international order the United States has led since World War
II, of science and inequality. It’s a complicated
picture, but it’s also one that is filled with
tremendous opportunity for you. My prediction is that in the not
too distant future, one of you will counsel a client
on intellectual property of a vaccine for
the next disease. One of you will advise on
issues of digital sovereignty that are confronting a start-up
that another one of you will have started up. One of you will
try to figure out how a system of laws, designed
with human agency in mind, should apply when machines are
the ones that are learning, and are guided by
artificial intelligence. One of you will wrestle
with the responsibilities and opportunities inherent in
a world in which huge volumes of data can be collected,
analyzed, digested, and used for good or for ill. And all of you will think about
the social compact enshrined in our constitution, and when
our governments responsibility to protect us may or may
not yield to the belief that you, alone, should
have access to your data. There will be questions
that the law doesn’t answer, and that’s where you’ll need to
go beyond the ability to slice and dice a case, or
a Supreme Court text. You’ll need to go beyond that
and to exercise judgment. So what do I mean? The law doesn’t always provide
pat solutions, you know this. The Constitution itself is
full of open-ended dictates. Searches and seizures
must be reasonable, individuals are entitled to
all the process that is due. The president must take care
to faithfully execute the laws. And in international
law, we don’t even have a Congress
or a Supreme Court to settle the question
of whether a cyber operation violates another
country’s sovereignty, or constitutes the use of force. To answer these questions,
it’s essential to know what the law is. But that’s just the first step. You’ll also need to know how
to handle the unresolved issues and navigate the gray. When should you read the
existing law in a way that government
deems is necessary? When should you not? Lawyers don’t answer these
questions by themselves, a lot of times it’s the client
that gets to make the call. But you’ll be forced to
think through these issues. What are the ethical
and moral implications? Is it consistent
with our nation’s values, and who we are? What precedent
will you be setting that others might follow? Your clients will be looking
not only for your legal acumen, you’ve got that,
they’ll be looking for your good judgment, and a
sense of responsibility that is much more rare,
and harder to define. Society will need those who
can navigate the gray space. Those who, like Ed Levi, respect
and uphold practices, norms, and institutions, that
while not written into law, are the connective
tissue that keep the rest of our rule
of law muscles strong. Now I am purposely drawing
a distinction here, between that which
we prescribe in law, and that which we adopt as a
custom, or practice, or a model for our behavior. Because what’s allowed is
not the same as what’s wise. It’s important for a
lawyer to make clear when she’s providing
legal advice, but there will be
moments when it would be a grave mistake for
her only to provide such advice. Let me give you an example. The Constitution clearly
gives the president a role in law
enforcement, he’s the head of the executive branch, he
has the power of the pardon. But as time has shown us,
it’s vitally important that the government’s power
to deprive persons of liberty be divorced from
partisan politics, and be done without
fear or favor. That’s why it’s important
to have practices, like the Levi Guidelines. Another example might
be how the government handles transparency. There’s a body of
law that dictates when the executive branch
must make information public, but even when there’s
no law requiring it, transparency about what is
being done in the people’s name is important for the credibility
of government actions, for confidence in
its operations, and accountability of those
elected and appointed to serve. Some measure of
transparency may be the difference between public
confidence and public cynicism. And when it comes to
national security, this norm of
transparency may well yield to legitimate concerns
about security and safety. But the lawyers and
the policymakers are going to have to be the
ones who strike that balance. There will come a
time when your ability to both practice the
craft you’ve been taught and navigate the gray
will have nothing to do with your LSATs,
the clerkship you got, your grades, and everything
to do with your credibility and integrity, just as our
confidence in government’s judgments rests on how credible
the actors and institutions are that are making those judgments. This is particularly true
when you can’t say everything about what you’re doing. There are times when I found
myself in exactly that space. The terrorism operation
that couldn’t be fully explained, the
intelligence tools, whose efficacy was only as
good as the secrecy surrounding them. In these times, the process
used to reach a decision is critical. We’re all the key players
with different points of view in the room. Were the subject matter
experts relied on, or were they marginalized? These are the
questions that dictate when a decision has integrity. When I was at the
Justice Department and on the National
Security Council, I was conscious of being
part of a strong tradition of professionals who viewed
themselves and believed deeply in their role as stewards
of an institution where process mattered. These are examples from
my government service, but regardless of your path,
you’ll be looked to not only to answer the narrow
question of what’s allowed, but to be custodians
of institutions that enable us to also get it right. And you’ll need more than
raw, legal horsepower. That’s why I said at the
outset that there’s more work. You’ll need a framework to help
you transcend the tactical. Before I close, let me ask
you to consider the following. Imagine you are seated at a
table in your future life. That table could be anywhere,
a boardroom, a court room, your kitchen table, or the table
in the White House Situation Room. You’ll be well-equipped to
answer the tactical issue at hand to determine what’s
allowed, to assess the risks, to guide your client on
how the legal rules apply. But the questions that will
prove the most challenging will require you to look
beyond these issues. The framework you’ll
need at this future table might include
questions that you ask when you’re confronted with an
issue that doesn’t accommodate black or white as
easily as it fits itself into a shade of gray. The first question
your professors will be happy to know
should be, is it legal? Now you’re taught here to weigh
risks, and costs, and benefits, I suggest to you that the cost
in malpractice fees of not making this your first question,
may well be substantial. But if I leave you with
nothing else today, please don’t let this be the
only question you ask yourself. In the Situation Room,
we always started with the question of whether
the options we were considering were lawful. But no matter what the
issue, intervention in Syria, elsewhere in the
world, disruption of a terrorist attack
or cyber aggression. Knowing what the law
says was almost always just the threshold question,
not the end of the inquiry. While you’re seated
at this table, imagine that the questions
are continuing to come at you. The stakes are
exceptionally high, the time is exceedingly short. This is when you’ll need to
reach for your framework. In the Situation Room
you might confront the following question,
are we or our allies facing an imminent threat? Is the force being contemplated
to disrupt that threat necessary and appropriate? The question comes
to you, do facts exist to justify the path
the group is leaning toward? You ask yourself, do they? Another way to put this is, and
another question you might ask is, is the exercise
I’m engaged in lazy? Is there rigor attached to it? What do the experts say? Are they involved? Were considerations afoot
that somehow left them out of the room, along
with dissenting voices? Are other voices
trying to drown out those who just don’t get it? Do the arguments in favor
seem to be leaning too heavily on expediency and urgency? Well, you look back
and say the decision was reached through a
process with integrity? And even if the
result isn’t perfect, will it be more legitimate
because of the questions you asked? Another question familiar
to anyone now will be, is there precedent for
the path you’re choosing? Here in this imaginary
room, at this future table, precedent should not
be a straight jacket, but it should be a
blinking yellow light, cautioning you to avoid the
result that is backed into. Some of you may be thinking that
I’ve spent my time telling you today to consider
issues outside the law, to supplant hard analysis
for values that divert you from a lawyer’s expertise. That’s not in your client’s
interest, you may say. That’s the cardinal
sin of a lawyer. That’s not my intent. I would argue that
the ability to counsel a client about issues
beyond the law, such that you can convince them
that even if the law says yes, the right answer may be no. That’s the hallmark
of a good lawyer. Lawyers, particularly
in public service, will confront decisions
that are of such moment that as Janet Reno used to say,
you’ll be damned if you do, damned if you
don’t, so you might as well do the right thing. Well, the right thing
can be hard to discern, but the framework
that you operate with will provide the ballast
you need to navigate, both what’s allowed
and what is wise. The story goes that when Ed
Levi met with President Ford to discuss becoming
attorney general, Ford asked him what he thought
the Justice Department needed. Levi is said to have
answered, “A soul.” As you go forth from
here with skills that will allow you to answer
any hard legal question, I wish for you the
joy and the privilege of exercising a
unique responsibility, to provide the soul we all need
to navigate the world ahead. Congratulations. [APPLAUSE] THOMAS J. MILES: Thank
you, Miss Monaco. It’s now my pleasure to
introduce our faculty speaker, Professor Richard McAdams. Many of you, in
the class of 2017, need no introduction
of Professor McAdams. Before our guest, I will
tell you a bit about him. Professor McAdams is one of
the nation’s leading experts in criminal law and
criminal procedure. He obtained his law degree from
the University of Virginia, and clerked for the then
Chief Judge, Harold Winter, of the 4th circuit. He then practiced
law in Philadelphia. He then launched a
stellar academic career, serving on the faculties
of Boston University, the University of
Illinois, and Chicago Kent, before joining our
faculty in 2007. Professor McAdams is
a prolific scholar. He writes extensively
on criminal law and criminal procedure. He is one of the leading
writers in the area of law, and social norms, and the
expressive theory of law. His scholarship is
intensely interdisciplinary, often borrowing concepts from
economics and social psychology to illuminate the
conduct of actors within the criminal
justice system, such as the behavior of police. In recent years, he has taken an
interest in law and literature, and has written on
topics such as Othello and the law of complicity. Professor McAdams is also
an exemplary teacher, as many of our graduates know. I looked at his
teaching evaluations and I will just pull out
one quote from a student that I think
summarizes it aptly. “Professor McAdams is awesome.” Enough said? Yes, enough said. Please join me in welcoming
Professor McAdams. [APPLAUSE] RICHARD MCADAMS: Has it really
been less than three years since we put the
JD class on a bus to Naperville, to have you do
trust falls and a rope course? I want to thank
everybody who is here today to celebrate
this remarkable class. It’s an honor and a privilege
to be part of this great day. I thank my dean,
the wise Tom Miles, for his kind introduction. I thank my fellow
speaker Lisa Monaco, who has spent her
public service career working tirelessly and in some
very demanding and important jobs. I must confess that I’m a
bit envious of Miss Monaco, the president
called her Dr. Doom. I’ve always wanted Dean Miles
to call me Professor Doom. Perhaps after this speech. You earned your law degree
during a momentous period for the law school
and the nation. You enjoyed the exceptional
leadership of not one, but three deans. Mike Schill, Geoff
Stone, and Tom Miles. The speakers that this class
welcomed to the law school included President Barack
Obama, Justice Elena Kagan, and 1985 Chicago classmates
Senator Amy Klobuchar, and former FBI
Director James Comey. You began law school in the
midst of a controversial series of police shootings, you leave
during a momentous and unusual legal investigation into
a successful presidential campaign. You were in law school when
Justice Antonin Scalia died, and when Justice Neil
Gorsuch replaced him. And for that day,
last September, when atmospheric CO2 levels,
at their seasonal low, exceeded 400 parts per
million for the first time in human history. Well, some might quibble
with my examples, but I don’t think anyone will
disagree with the general point that there was a lot
going on in the world while you were studying
to become lawyers. Zora Neale Hurston
once wrote, there are years that ask questions,
and years that answer. She was not talking
about law school, but what graduate would deny
that the years of law school ask a great many questions? Yours, more than most. It is the next few years and
decades, in which all of us will find or make
some of the answers. I take comfort that we are
sending the classes of 2017 out into the world. I have enjoyed your
high irreverence, underneath I see
dedication and brilliance, and it gives me faith and
optimism for the future. Soon you’ll be concerned with
the consequential and pressing tasks of mastering
your first job, and paying off student loans. But today I want to spend
a few minutes discussing how you might use your
law degree to answer some of the broader
questions we face. You’ve already shown your
commitment to causes broader than yourself. That’s why many of you
came to law school, why this class
tallied over 10,000 hours of pro bono service. I just want to say
something about the how, how lawyers can serve
the public interest. And I want to do
that by reminding you of three exemplary Chicago
law graduates, a professor, a corporate lawyer,
and a politician. And their years of the
past may help answer your questions of the future. The professor was
Sophonsiba Breckinridge, born 151 years ago in Kentucky. Her father and
brother were lawyers, but they resisted her
efforts to study law. No woman had ever been
a lawyer in that state. Nevertheless, she persisted. Studied in her father’s office,
and passed the oral exam. She joined the bar by swearing,
as all Kentucky lawyers did, that she had
quote, “never fought a duel with deadly weapons.” The obstacles to
her practicing law remained, she moved
around them by coming to the University
of Chicago, where she earned a PhD in political
science and economics, then one field. Despite graduating
summa cum laude, she received no offers to teach. Yet she kept going. She entered law
school, and became a member of our first
graduating class of 1904. Persistence rewarded, she
received an academic job at the University of
Chicago Department of Household Administration. That began an
extraordinary career. Breckenridge and a
few others essentially created the professional and
academic fields of social work. She introduced the case method,
borrowed from her study of law. Her work on poverty,
immigration, juvenile justice, and women’s suffrage
was heavily influenced by her legal training. She became the first
woman a president ever sent to represent
the United States at an international conference. Her life exemplifies
persistence. Breckenridge once wrote,
quote, “If the progress seems often incredibly,
unendurably slow, the social worker must pray the
prayer of the poet to be filled with the passion of patience. The same is true of the lawyer. For the causes that
matter to you, when the progress is
unendurably slow, and interrupted by setbacks,
we need a passionate patience, the willingness to engage
for the long haul.” Persistence also defines
the corporate lawyer, Earl Dickerson. His journey started
in Mississippi, the grandson of slaves. At age 15, his mother put
him on a train to Chicago. They did not have enough
money for the whole trip, so when his ticketed
destination came and went, he became a stowaway. With the help of porters,
he hid from the conductor, spending hours by the coal
bin and in the baggage car sitting on a casket. Years later, Dickerson
explained his arrival. Quote, “I left the desperate
life of a black person in feudal Mississippi. I fled, clothed with little
else than a burning to sense of outrage and a
driving resolve, cradled in the Declaration
of Independence, not to be bullied, browbeaten,
or held hostage ever again.” He started law school here in
1915, he did extremely well. When the US entered
the First World War, Dickerson volunteered
and went to France as a Second Lieutenant. Whereas French fluency allowed
him to work as an interpreter, he also saw plenty of combat. After the war, he
returned to Chicago and finished his law degree. The law school’s first
dean, Ernst Freund, a mentor of Sophonsiba
Breckinridge, wrote letters recommending
Dickerson to three major law firms in Chicago. But none were willing to hire
their first African-American lawyer. So Dickerson opened
his own law office. An early client was
Liberty Life Insurance, he would eventually become
president of the firm. In 1937, when he
was general counsel, he convinced the company to
make a loan to Carl Hansberry to buy property in Hyde
Park, notwithstanding the consequent violation of a
racially restrictive covenant. When Illinois courts would
not listen to his challenges to the covenant,
Dickerson took the case to the US Supreme
Court, argued it, and won a unanimous decision. The lawsuit is but one
example of Dickerson’s lifelong commitment
to civil rights. He never lost his
outrage at injustice. He wound up serving on FDR’s
fair employment practices committee, he served terms
as president of the National Lawyers Guild, and the
National Bar Association, and on the National
Board of the NAACP. When he was 72 years
old, he was part of the 1963 March on
Washington, and was on the stage when Martin
Luther King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. Dickerson never saw
an either/or choice between working as
a corporate lawyer and working to
reshape the world. With great persistence,
he did both. My final story is about a
politician, Abner Mikva. Now some of you may
have met him when he delivered the Benton lecture
during your first year here. He passed away last
summer at the age of 90, after an exemplary
life of public service. Mikva served at a high
level in all three branches of the federal
government, in Congress, for the US Court of
Appeals for the DC circuit, and as White House counsel. His beginnings were more humble. The child of Jewish immigrants
during the Depression, he attended college
on the GI Bill. In law school, Mikva
was successful, became editor in chief
of the law review. A story, one day
the Chicago dean passed onto him a letter from
the dean of the Harvard Law School, advertising
the Harvard Law Review for students whose law
school did not have a journal. Mikva’s reply to
the Harvard dean is something I’d like to think
one of you might have written. Quote “Thank you for
your generous offer, but the University of Chicago
has a law review of its own. But your proposal raises
an interesting possibility. Perhaps we should merge
our two law reviews, there might be a
problem about the name, so I suggest a simple solution. We use the first
half of our name and the second half of
yours, hence the new journal would be known as the University
of Chicago Law Review. [LAUGHTER] In law school,
Mikva was interested in political campaigns. One night he stopped by his
ward headquarters and said, I’d like to volunteer. As Mikva told the story, quote,
“A quintessential Chicago committee man took the cigar out
of his mouth, and glared at me, and said who sent you? I said nobody sent me. He put the cigar back in
his mouth, and he said, we don’t want nobody
that nobody sent.” This was the beginning of
Mikva’s political career, and a classic line in
Chicago political lore. Starting in the
statehouse, he then won a congressional
district, containing Hyde Park where he lived. But because Mikva
was a Democrat, outside of the
democratic machine, he saw his district
gerrymandered in a way that made reelection impossible. And this is how many promising
political careers end, but Mikva was persistent. He moved. He moved from Hyde
Park to Evanston to run in a different
district, and he lost. But he ran again, and he won. And then he was re-elected
two more times, left Congress only to become a
judge, left the bench to become White House counsel
for President Bill Clinton during some busy times. After that, he
returned to Chicago, and taught here
for several years, serving as Senior Director
of the Mandel Clinic to great acclaim
from his students. His commitment to
public service is reflected in an
organization he created, the Mikva Challenge, a
vital force in civics education in public schools,
encouraging students to engage democracy as by
serving as poll watchers or campaign staffers. President Obama
recounted last summer, Ab believed in empowering the
next generation of young people to shape our country. Like many of you, Mikva started
out in a very good law firm, but his career shows
many other ways that a lawyer can contribute
to the greater good. All three graduates
contributed to causes larger than themselves. They illustrate how many
different careers are possible with your law degree. I hope their different paths are
an inspiration to you, whatever path you choose for yourself. Also, their persistence. They knew that the
years that answer may come only after
lifelong struggle. I’m excited to see what answers
the class of 2017 will provide. Yet as I have gotten
to know many of you, I’m also sad to see you leave. You will visit often, I hope. As another writer once
said, “the pain of parting is nothing to the joy
of meeting again.” Thank you. [APPLAUSE] THOMAS J. MILES: Thank
you, Professor Doom– I mean, Professor McAdams. We will now proceed to
the conferral of degrees, and the hooding
of the graduates. RICHARD I. BADGER:
Dean Miles, it is my honor to present these
students who have completed the program of
studies prescribed by the faculty of
the law school. They have been awarded the
degree of Master of Laws by the Board of Trustees. THOMAS J. MILES: I
congratulate these graduates on the successful completion
of a program of advance study of the law school, culminating
in the degree, Master of Laws. RICHARD I. BADGER: Will the
graduates please come forward to receive your diploma,
and then your academic hood, as I call your name. Walter William [? Andonionse. ?] Pieter Alliet. Isabel Arantes Diniz Junqueria. Xiao Bai. Beatriz Sampaio Barros. Ingo Mattias Berner. Lydia Bitsakou. Felipe Borges Lacerda Loiola. Pedro W Buchanan. Karina Cancellaro Azevedo. Fernando Castillo Villalpando. Deep Choudhuri. Omar Colome Mendez. Pedro Cordelli Alves. Laurent Cousinou. Rodrigo de Almeida Manso Vieira. Audrey Deborah Durand. Hugo Samuel William Farmer. Elliott Fosserpez. Shahar Gonen. Arturo Ernesto Griffin
[? Valdivieso. ?] Ilayda Gunes. Bilei He. Shoichi Hikami. Hao-Ling Hung. Marcel Jakob. Vitor Luis [INAUDIBLE] Jorge. Thiajo Braga Junquiera. Theresa Thomas Kalathil. Naoko Kawabata. Christian Kolb. Andrew [? Dontago ?]
Farrad Constant. Luis Antonio La Rose Airaldi. James Michael [INAUDIBLE] Leung. Martin Lodeon. Summer Massad. Maria Mondeja Yudina. Guilherme [INAUDIBLE] Margulis. Amrita Mukherjee. Gustavo R. Nicolau. Yali Peng. Natalia Lucia Pichon Hernandez. Juau Manuel Poggio Aguerre. Piyush Prasad. Bruna Eduardo Rey. Humberto Enrique
Romero-Carrillo. Joao Gustavo Santiago. Ziv Schwartz. Shubhangi. Bakhtawar-Bilal Soofi. Hirokai Sugiyama. Hongru Sun. Kamolnich Swasdiphanich. Miao Tang. Sachiko Tangiuchi. Odysseas Theofanis. Santiago Tinoco Martinez. Luis Marcelo
Torales [? Ovilo. ?] Laura Simone Tscherrig. Dusan Valent. Nills van Den Broecke. Joost van Rossum. Gilda Velazquez-Mason. Alberto Maria Vergara Puccini. [INAUDIBLE] [? Jincheng ?] Yang. Julius Shi-Rong Yam. Jincheng Yang. Khun Yang. Junqi Zhang. Xiaoyu Zhang. Congratulations to
the LLM class of 2017. [APPLAUSE] Dean Miles, the student
I now present has attained scholarly distinction
in advanced studies, and has prepared a
dissertation, which contributes to knowledge in a
particular field of research. On behalf of the faculty
of the law school, I have the honor to
present the recipient of the degree of Doctor
of Jurisprudence, as conferred by the
Board of Trustees. THOMAS J. MILES: I
congratulate this graduate on the successful completion
of a program of advanced study in the law school, culminating
in the degree, Doctor of Jurisprudence. RICHARD I. BADGER: Will the
graduate please come forward to receive your diploma,
and then your academic hood, as I call your name. Vera Shikhelman. [APPLAUSE] Congratulations to the
JSD graduate of 2017. [APPLAUSE] SHANNON B. BARTLETT:
Dean Miles, it is my honor to present these
students who have fulfilled all of the requirements prescribed
by the faculty of the law school to qualify them
for the profession of law. They have been awarded the
degree of Doctor of Law by the Board of Trustees. THOMAS J. MILES: I
congratulate these graduates on the successful completion
of a program of advanced study in the law school, culminating
in the degree, Doctor of Law. SHANNON B. BARTLETT: Will the
graduates please come forward to receive your diploma,
and then your academic hood, as I call your name. Adedola O. Adeyosoye. [APPLAUSE] Michael P. Alcan. Hayley L. Altabef. Hayley will be hooded by
her father, Peter Altabef, law school class of 1983. Gabriela Eva Alvarez. Omar N. Ammash. Lance L. Arberry. Shantel Haruko Asada. Mitchell T. Athey. Justin Anthony Avellar. Nina Bakhtina. Amy N. Barber. Russell E. Barnwell Kaitlin Danielle Beck. Christina Claire Bell. William G. Blakely. Claire Celeste Bonelli. Timothy Scott Breems, Jr. Michael B. Brightman. Nicole M. Briody. Lauren Anne Capobianco. Nicholas Alexander Cast. Amy S. Chen. Huiyi Chen. Shannon Cheng. Theo M. Chenier III. Young-Min Cho. Elizabeth K. Clarke. Ian L. Cohen. Thomas H. Collier. Philip M. Cooper. Dylan Thomas Cowart. Robert Joseph Crawford, II. Peter J. Dalmasy [? Kunhardt. ?] Adam Amani Davidson. William Bernard Decker, III. Richard Roberto
Deulofeut-Manzur. Carmel Inas Dooling. Noah B. Driggs. Joshua W. Eastby. Charles C. Eaton, II. Aria [INAUDIBLE] Eckersley. Joseph Abraham Egozi. Philip [? Pomeranz ?] Ehrlich. Luke Charles Elder. Sky A. Emison. Nathan Ezra Enfield. Zachary J. Esposito. Max Leo Fin. Katherine B. Fishbein. Samuel P. Fleuter. Craig Alexander Fligor. Jordan Michael Fossee. Kali Hypatia Frampton. Cole R. Francis. Lisa D. Frasco. Jason R. Freck. Conor Scott Gilligan. Jeongu Gim. Annie Marie Gowen. Victoria Christine Grant. Kristoffer Agner Gredsted. Kristoffer will be hooded by his
spouse, Monica Norzagary Gary Pedraza. Law school class of 2014. Maury Jacob Greenberg. Maury will be hooded by
his uncle, David Greenberg. Law school class of 1981. Andrew Scott Gregory. Jacob Aaron Grossman. David Eric Grothouse. Jennifer I. Gullotti. Lindsay Gus. Julia Haines. Devra [INAUDIBLE] Hake. Ryan Isaac Halimi. Jonathan Patrick Hawley. Peter Jonathan Hegel. Scott Harriman Henney. Scott will be hooded by
his spouse, Revan Henney, law school class of 2016. Marc Justin Hershberg. Emily Beth Hoffman. Kelly C. Holt. Drew Michael Horwood. Corbin D. Houston. Thomas R. Howland. Jason L. Hofendick. Sae-Jan Hwang. Vito Iaia. Vera M. Iwankiw. Vishal Iyer. Mary E. Jardine. Shiva Jayaraman. Sten Jernudd. Sten will be hooded by
his aunt, Sigrid Jernudd, law school class of 2012. Jasmine Karen Johnson. Stuart Reeves Jordan. Anna Michaela Kabat. William Kalas. Julia Kerr. Elizabeth Ashley Keirnan. James A. Kilcup. Charlene Kim. Matthew A. Klomparens. Shelby L. Klose. Mark A. Kunzman. Matthew E. Ladew. Curie Lee. Seo-Young Lee. William Scott Leonard. Zachary David Levine. Eric Benjamin Lewin. Allen [INAUDIBLE] Li. Jingjing Lin. Nicholas Grant Linke. Hannah Ming Yi Loo. Taylor Christian Lopez. Nathaniel R. Ludewig. Andrew Reed Mackie-Mason. Trevor Sean Mann-Ohalloran. Gregory E. Marchesini. Samantha Elizabeth Marcy. Lee N. Mason. Patrick J. Maxwell. Amanda J. Mayo. Megan Lee McCreadie. Ndjuoh Mehchu. Katherine J. Miller. Jason Peter Mongillo. Benjamin R. Montague. Micah L. Moore. Sharon K. Moraes. Adam Motiwala. Ellen [INAUDIBLE] Murphy. Holly Elizabeth Newell. Amanda Ng. Neha Nigam. Aisha [? Mahavesh ?] Noor. Margaret C. O’Connor. James Nicola Oliveto, III. Josephine [INAUDIBLE] Oshiafi. Steven Andrew Page. Beth Erin Palmer. Kyle Kwame Panton. Albert N. Parisi-Esteves. Grace E. Park. Andrew D. Parker. Kashan [INAUDIBLE] Pathan. Alexander Michael Pechette. Alexa K. Perez. Jared A. Petermeyer. Stacey Elizabeth Petrek. Joshua Michael Phillips. Joshua Bennett Pickar. Fara N. Pizzo. Maya Elise Powe. Zeshawn Qadir. Sudhir [INAUDIBLE] Rao. Richard W Redmond. Alejandro D. Rettig Y Martinez. Lisa Marie Richards. Ryan J. Rivera. Alexander K. Robinson. Elizabeth Diane Roque. Taylor S. Rothman. Andrea J. Ruiz. Daniel J. Ruvolo. Matthew L. Saathoff. Emily Elizabeth Samra. Ryan Jacob Scarcella. Stephen Alexander [? Schwier. ?] Allison Abra Schneider. Joseph C. Schomberg. Daniel James Scime. Alexandra Jean Scott. Antonio Agosto Passo Senra. Noorjit Singh Sidhu. Kirby M. Smith. Nicholas William Smith. Woosung Son. Lindsay Sarah Stone. Miranda Rose Stuart. Laura Ashley Supple. Madeline Dover Swan. Derrik Wayne Sweeney. Tammy Tarboush. Roee Talmor. Naira Florencia Testai. Ruth Sarah Thomson. Ruth will be hooded by Jonathan
Dean, law school class of 1970. Michael Trajkovich. Bridget Maureen Tully. Margo Uhrman. Fabiola Teresa Valenzuela. Jose Manuel Valle. Taylor Nicole Votek. Lauren Jean Walas. Hannah R. Waldman. Alexandra R. Waleko. Jacob L. Walley. Evan D. Walters. Kevin X. Wang. Amanda Watts. Joseph Liam Wenner. John Marshall Wilson. Joshua T. Wilson. Adam G. Woofinden. Regina M. Wood. You-You Yang. Sai Yarramalla. Vaishalee Vivek Yeldandi. Mary Sung Min Yoo. Zachary Z Zermay. Yuji Jimmie Zhang. Tianya Zhong. Hangcheng Zhou. Congratulations to
the JD class of 2017. [APPLAUSE] THOMAS J. MILES: This concludes
our 19th annual diploma and hooding ceremony. Now it’s often said that
lawyers like three part tests. Here’s your three part test. First, allow the party
and the graduates to process out of
the chapel first. Second, another unit
of the university will be coming in shortly
after us for their graduation ceremony, so please do
not linger in the chapel, and please don’t linger
in front of the chapel. Third, please join us all at
the law school for reception with our graduates. Congratulations again. [APPLAUSE] [MUSIC PLAYING] [APPLAUSE]

One thought on “Law School Diploma and Hooding Ceremony, 530th Convocation

  • Felix Bloxham Post author

    i see the grammarians wearing their (masonic )mitre boards symbolic of being squared off ,stunted in their education of course the true cap of the learned is the round one .

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