It’s graduation time, which means legal luminaries are making the commencement speaker rounds. As of Thursday, no law schools had claimed the services of any of the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, who usually can be counted upon for at least a couple of commencement addresses. Still, schools snagged some pretty big names to impart wisdom and encouragement to the soon-to-be lawyers.
Graduating students at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law will hear from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder during their May 11 ceremony. Holder spoke at Harvard Law School last year and the University of Virginia School of Law in 2011.
Nancy Pelosi, minority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, will pull double duty as the speaker at the University of California, Davis School of Law and the University of Baltimore School of Law. Pelosi’s father served as the mayor of Baltimore for 12 years and represented the city in Congress for five terms.
High-profile litigator David Boies, chairman of Boies, Schiller and Flexner, is on tap to speak at his alma mater, New York University School of Law, on May 24. Boies will team up Theodore Olson to address graduates at the University of New Hampshire School of Law on May 18. The unlikely courtroom allies recently argued in favor of same-sex marriage before the U.S. Supreme Court.
U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, Jr., wins the prize for busiest graduation speaker. He will address graduates of the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law on May 10; of Duke Law School graduates the next day; and of Boston University School of Law on May 19.
"Donald Verrilli is one of the leading appellate advocates in the nation and a dedicated public servant," said Duke Law Dean David F. Levi. "It is an honor to welcome him to Duke."
New York Law School Dean Anthony Crowell’s city hall connections apparently paid off, as Mayor Michael Bloomberg will be that school’s commencement speaker. (Crowell served as special counsel to the mayor for four years.)
Harvard Law School has lined up New Yorker writer and CNN analyst (and Harvard alum) Jeffrey Toobin.
Georgetown University Law Center’s choice of Fox News personality Greta Van Susteren (an alumna) has not gone over well with some students, according to legal gossip blog Above the Law. Susteren’s blog post announcing the invitation to speak received some angry comments from people purporting to be Georgetown law students, although others wrote in to say they support the choice.
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