Law School graduates encouraged to value their unconventional journeys

Media Credit: Ethan Stoler | Contributing Photo Editor

A graduate looks towards his family during the Law School ceremony in the Smith Center on Sunday.

About 500 graduates received their diplomas at the Law School Celebration in the Smith Center Sunday afternoon.

During the event, speakers addressed the power that comes alongside a law degree and the ability it grants graduates to stand up for others.

The students were told that their careers are not going to play out the way that others expect, and that they should take advantage of opportunities to keep moving forward.

Here’s what the speakers had to say:

1. Use words wisely

The ceremony’s student speaker and Student Bar Association President, Sean Winker, spoke to the graduates about using their words “wisely” and standing up for others.

He said ability of words and the rule of law to prevent inequality and ensure justice for all.

“Now, our words carry importance,” Winker said.

Winker congratulated his fellow classmates and highlighted the bonds they shared over the past three years. He encouraged them to keep effecting change and standing up for others in the future.

Ethan Stoler | Contributing Photo Editor

Legal Director of Privacy at Google, Keith Enright, JD ’02, spoke to students at the Law School ceremony at the Smith Center on Sunday.

2. Practice the unconventional

Keith Enright, director of Google’s Global Privacy Legal Team and a 2000 graduate of the law school, delivered the keynote address.

He described both his journey to his current career and his time as a law student as unconventional.

He advised the graduates to take on their careers with “passion, humility and gratitude,” saying the path they chose is great in part because of the challenges they don’t yet expect to encounter.

Enright said his own career “skidded,” but the struggle and recovery taught him that his “next win is never guaranteed.” He encouraged the practice of humility and respect, telling the graduates not to “sweat the mistakes” and to always keep moving forward.

“Take the power of law degree and be so much more than the lawyers that others will imagine you’ll be,” Enright said.

3. Honor values that better society

Law School Dean Blake Morant spoke about the value of higher education in a rapidly changing world, saying “So much has happened in our law school, both up and down.” He said the class’ intelligence and commitment will contribute positively to society.

Morant also charged the Class of 2018 with the challenge to “look for the opportunity to uplift society in any way that you can.”

“Law gives you the tools to do so much with so many other people,” Morant said.

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