Attorney General Commends Class of 2010

Fall 2010

On Friday, May 14, Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. ’76 congratulated the roughly 700 J.D., LL.M., and J.S.D. students in the Class of 2010 for successfully completing three years of intense legal training and urged the newest members of the legal community to use their finely tuned skills for the betterment of society.

“You are now stewards of our nation’s justice system,” said Holder in his keynote speech. “I believe the privilege of earning a Columbia Law degree brings with it an ongoing responsibility to use your gifts and training to improve this system.”

Dean David M. Schizer joined Holder in commending the assembled students
and echoed the importance of service. “As graduates of this Law School, you will be called upon over the course of your careers to address the most pressing challenges of your time,” Schizer noted. “Sooner than you may realize, others will depend on you to lead.”

The inspirational words were not lost on the graduates, a diverse group of students who hail from more than 50 countries. At multiple points during the ceremony,
they erupted in cheers and applause as thousands of friends and family members looked on.

Before the graduates rose from their chairs to receive their degrees, and congratulations from the attorney general, Professor Alex Raskolnikov offered a bit of advice gleaned from his own successful yet winding career, which has taken him from metallurgy to tax law. “Take your time,” said Raskolnikov, this year’s recipient of the Willis L.M. Reese Prize for Excellence in Teaching. “Do whatever job you happen to start with well, keep an open mind about opportunities, and good things will happen. You’ve accomplished so much during your time at Columbia. You will accomplish much more in years to come.”