Reflecting on their time at the Law School, graduating students fill in the blank
Class of 2006 co-treasurers present $52,000 in five-year pledges for renovating second-floor reading room in Law School library
Michelle Skinner delivered the student remarks at the Law School’s commencement ceremony Sunday in Memorial Auditorium. Graduating law students are scheduled to officially receive their degrees in June.
BY MEGAN ST. CLAIR
"Bearable only because it is Stanford." "Expensive, but worth it." "The hardest thing I've ever done."
These are just a few of the responses that Barbara Fried received after asking graduating law students to fill in the following blank: "Law School is _____."
The William W. and Gertrude H. Saunders Professor of Law and 2006 recipient of the John Bingham Hurlbut Award for Excellence in Teaching, Fried delivered the keynote address Sunday during the Law School's commencement ceremony in Memorial Auditorium, where she explained the difficulty of finding "advice built to last" and her subsequent decision to solicit input from students.
"I e-mailed the Class of 2006 a bunch of intrusive and impertinent questions … [and] hoped that something in what you all said would help me figure out what to say to you," she said.
She got what she was looking for.
"If you are going through hell, keep going—[a quote from] Winston Churchill," Fried said, sharing one student's response to another question. "That you and your colleagues let me in," "How much I liked it" and "That it made me want to be a lawyer" were some of the replies to her question about the "biggest surprise about law school."
Graduating students include 176 candidates for Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD), with 10 concentrating in the area of corporate governance and practice and 10 focusing in law, science and technology; 13 for the degree of Master of the Science of Law (JSM); and 11 for the degree of Doctor of the Science of Law (JSD). The graduates are scheduled to receive their degrees in June, after their exams have been scored and their grades recorded.
"In becoming a lawyer, you join one of the oldest, most important and, yes, most respected professions in the world," Law School Dean Larry Kramer said. "The world needs change, and it will be people like you who do it."
Also during the ceremony, class co-treasurers Thomas M. Noone and Sonya U. Sanchez presented the Class of 2006's gift: $52,000 in five-year pledges for renovating the second-floor reading room in the library.
"There are nearly a million lawyers in the United States today, which seems like a lot until you think about the significance of our profession in the world and the myriad roles lawyers play in our culture," said Kramer, who holds the Richard E. Lang Professorship for the Dean at Stanford Law School. "We live in a society in which law provides the structure and framework necessary not just for government, but for commerce and art and industry. For war and for peace. For protecting individuals from the state and protecting the state from individuals. It takes lawyers to make this system of law work."
Paul Lomio, director of the Robert Crown Law Library, accepted the 2006 Staff Appreciation Award on behalf of himself and Erika Wayne, assistant director for information services at the library. "Thank you for making us a part of your special day," he said.
Megan St. Clair is the assistant director of communications at the Law School.