Two Enduring Truths
Our society needs lawyers, and what’s happening in the world right now makes that need all the more urgent. And we have an extraordinary will to adapt.
Dear members of the Columbia Law School Community,
This week, especially as I prepared to speak with admitted students attending a virtual open house, I’ve been reflecting on two things that I’m confident will continue to hold true, even during this period of upheaval.
The first is that our society needs lawyers, and what’s happening in the world right now makes that need all the more urgent. It’s our job to be the calm in the storm, to lead others with wisdom and humanity, and to use our training—our powers of analysis, our commitment to justice—to solve the most difficult problems and bring order to chaos. This has held true whether in acute crises—like armed conflict or financial collapse—or during longer struggles—like fighting for civil rights or combatting climate change, and will certainly be so during this global pandemic. I know that all of you—like Columbians who have preceded you over the past 160 years—will continue to answer the call that this moment in history demands.
The second thing I know is that Columbia Law School will not merely endure this period. Far from being overwhelmed, we are digging deep, drawing on our ingenuity, our compassion, and on each other to sustain our mission of teaching, learning, scholarship, and service. If we’ve learned anything over the past month, it’s that we have an extraordinary will to adapt. And I know, even though we face uncertainty about what the future holds, we will press on with spirit and determination, building fellowship and common cause at every turn.
Thank you for everything you have done—no matter your role or involvement—in sustaining our community.
With best wishes at week’s end,
Dean and the Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law