Dear Class of 2020,

I wish that today I was worrying about my academic gown choking me and planning how to make sure that I didn’t knock anyone’s cap off while hooding you (which is one of the greatest honors that I will ever have). I wish that I was saying hello to your parents and telling them what ridiculous overachievers you are and seeing and hearing how proud they are of what you have accomplished. But because we’re not doing any of those things (yet–we will!), let me say this:

Being a lawyer can be intellectually taxing and emotionally draining. It can mean working incessantly and being frustrated with other lawyers, judges, witnesses, and clients. But on its good days–and there are many, many good days–being a lawyer will mean that you help someone resolve an issue that is central to their ability to live a safe, happy, secure, productive life. You graduate with a set of skills that you can use to make people’s lives better. I can’t think of anything more professionally gratifying than that. I hope that whatever area of law that you practice, you find it challenging, engaging, fulfilling, and rewarding, in every possible way. 

Thank you for everything that you have contributed to our law school and to our community. We have been so lucky to spend this time learning with you.

Take care,

Leigh Goodmark

P.S.  I thought about making you a video, but couldn’t look into that camera one…more…time.  🙂