J.D. Speaker: Christine Brozynski
Class of 2013, I thought about writing a classic speech in which I tell you that you are all destined to do great things despite not being named something like Judge Wisdom or Learned Hand. Parents, you could have planned that out better. But instead I’ll take a look at what exactly happened these past three years.
Our 1L year we arrived at Columbia and were almost immediately subjected to the Socratic method. When not being pummeled with questions by our professors, we went to office hours to pummel our professors with questions. In fact, our entire first year was basically an elaborate ping pong game of inquiries in which there were more pizzas consumed than questions actually answered.
By 2L year we were figuratively fed up with questions and literally fed up with pizza. So we began to take charge. For example, our pro bono projects constituted some very genuine steps toward saving the world, which means that, in a way, we were all Batman, albeit a version of Batman that has traded the Batmobile for carload of student loan debt.
Our greatest accomplishment, however, is that by our 3L year, we created a community. That’s pretty remarkable, considering our differences. We’ve joined organizations as diverse as Law Review to Law Revue spelled a slightly different way. We have distinct career goals, such as working in public interest, or working at a firm, or, for the indecisive among us, working at a public interest firm. And yet, even with these differences, even when thrown into a pressure-filled system dictated by an evil mathematical genius known as “The Curve,” we created bonds with one another that will extend into perpetuity, unlike, quite fittingly, our actual knowledge of the Rule Against Perpetuities.
This is extremely important because all of you, at some point in your careers, will have the opportunity to turn into a jerk. My advice to you is, don’t do that. But if you ever need any convincing, look back to this day, look back to this class, and remember just how much we were able to create and accomplish while still creating even stronger bonds with one another.
As a parting gift to you, I went ahead and wrote you all a graduation poem. This is an updated version of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven, which I call The Law Student.
The Law Student
Starting 1L, I was cheery; one week later, weak and weary,
I was drowning in Cardozo’s mystifying legal lore.
Dodged a call from Peter Strauss but no such luck from Jody Kraus.
Damn you, Socrates, for stupid teaching methods I abhor.
And what the hell is going on with JG’s lack of second floor?
Quoth the 1L, Nevermore!
2L year I still came back and quickly found that I would lack
The time to eat or breathe or sleep or watch the end of Jersey Shore.
Firmly, some firms fervently affirmed their lack of love for me.
Worked on journal while nocturnal; Bluebook and Red Bull galore.
Will anybody dote upon this Note I wrote on laws obscure?
Quoth the 2L, Nevermore!
3L year I noticed all the 1Ls looked so very small
That they’re mostly older than me is a fact I’ll just ignore.
Finally I knew some stuff that would have made past years less tough…
Apparently for Diamond you can simply just push in the door.
But graduation complications: will it rain, or will it pour?
Quoth the 3L, Nevermore!
I awoke May 23rd thinking that it’s so absurd
Just how fast three years went by and what those years have held in store.
Friendships made that me happy; this is where the poem gets sappy;
Would I ever trade the chance to learn so much (aside from torts)?
Would I ever trade the friends I made or all of their support?
Quoth the graduate, Nevermore.
And with that, I’d like to say congratulations to the Class of 2013!
For more about Christine Brozynski ’13, visit her graduation profile.