2015 Alumni Weekend: Making Our Democracy Work

More than 900 alumni and their guests gathered in New Haven in October for Alumni Weekend 2015 amid falling leaves and crisp autumnal temperatures. The Class of 1965 was represented by 111 alumni marking the 50th anniversary of their graduation. The classes of 1990 and 2010 each had almost 100 alumni and guests attending.


The theme of the weekend was Making Our Democracy Work. Panel topics included Making Institutions of Government Work; Income Inequality and Democracy; States, Federalism, and Democracy; Campaign Finance; and Civil Rights Post–Shelby County.

Floyd Abrams ’59 received the Award of Merit on Saturday, October 24. The Award of Merit recognizes alumni or long-time faculty of Yale Law School who have made a substantial contribution to public service or to the legal profession.

Abrams has a national trial and appellate practice and extensive experience in high-visibility matters, often involving First Amendment, securities litigation, intellectual property, public policy and regulatory issues at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP. In November 2011, Yale Law School announced the formation of The Floyd Abrams Institute for Freedom of Expression, part of the Information Society Project, whose mission is to promote free speech, scholarship and law reform on emerging questions concerning traditional and new media. Developed in cooperation with Abrams, the Institute includes a clinic for Yale Law students to engage in litigation, draft model legislation, and advise lawmakers and policy makers on issues of media freedom and informational access.

The weekend gave visitors many opportunities to reconnect with classmates, professors, and other members of the Yale Law School community during activities from Thursday evening to Sunday afternoon.