Last year was really fun — I was asked to give the commencement speech at Georgetown Law School and I was given an Honorary Degree. There is nothing like going back to your old school to give the commencement speech — especially knowing that under today’s academic standards, I could not get in!
Over the years, I have given other commencement speeches at other universities and colleges (yes, even at my college alma mater, the University of Wisconsin at Madison – another school I could no longer get in to!) and it is always a challenge to say something different, something that matters, something the students might remember and even learn from….and certainly something that does not bore.
I wondered if my thoughts about law school, about graduations had changed over the years so I pulled up the story below and re-read what was reported I said at Harvard Law School back in 2001. (I don’t keep copies of my speeches.)
HLS Grads Urged to ‘Change the World’
By Daniel P. Mosteller, CRIMSON STAFF WRITER June 7, 2001
CNN Legal analyst Greta Van Susteren cautioned Harvard Law School (HLS) not to use their law degree just to get a job or make money, but to use it as a way to make greater changes in society.
“The law has it all,” Van Susteren said. “A law degree is something you can change the world with.”
Van Susteren addressed the assembled crowd of graduates, their parents and alumnae at the Law School Class Day ceremony held on Holmes Field in front of the school’s Langdell Library.
“Do more than just take a law degree and walk off into a job,” Van Susteren told the graduates……
….And while some lawyers have an unsatisfactory experience in their careers, Van Susteren said that they should not blame the field as a whole, but the particular job they went into. She said that any graduate of Harvard Law School should be smart enough to leave a job that they did not enjoy……”