Monday, August 27, 2012

Dean Post Welcomes the J.D. Class of 2015 to Yale Law School

In his convocation address on Monday, August 27, Dean Robert Post ’77 welcomed the 203 members of the Yale Law School J.D. Class of 2015—a diverse and exceptional group winnowed down from 2,943 applicants for admission.

“At this very moment,” said the dean, “you are poised at the edge of what undoubtedly will become one of the great adventures of your life.”

It was the 201st class of new students at Yale Law School, hailing from 10 different countries, 35 different states and 68 different undergraduate institutions and speaking 35 different languages. Together they hold 57 advanced graduate degrees in subjects ranging from Applied Microeconomic Analysis to Opera. Among them are a published novelist, a skilled archer, an award-winning poet, a beauty queen, a juggler, an amateur boxer, a dog trainer, a Shakespearean actor, and a trained vegan chef. They have served as analysts at the FCC, the Department of the Treasury, the New Jersey Department of Education, and the Defense Intelligence Agency and have advised leaders ranging from Newark Mayor Cory Booker ’97 to the President of the Kurdistan Region in Iraq.

Dean Post said the task in the next three years “is to take the magnificent kaleidoscope that presently shines in this auditorium, and, turn by turn, to knit you together, each to the other.”

“We will encourage you to learn from each other…we will encourage you to trust each other. Over the next three years there will slowly but surely emerge bonds of common experiences, shared memories, and entangled hopes, and these will endow you with strength throughout your lives.”

Dean Post encouraged the students to work with the faculty—“some of the finest legal minds in the world”—to write with them, to question them, and to learn from them.

“If you catch some of the flame of their passion, you will be enlivened. The law will become for you a source of wonder and outrage and power; it will become your provocation and your challenge, not merely your fate.”

He expressed confidence that all of the students assembled would, in the end, succeed.

“Indeed, we believe that each of you in this room has the capacity to live greatly in the law. Out of the 2,943 persons who applied for the 203 seats in the class of 2015, we picked the very best, and, trust me, we have very good judgment. Whatever your secret fear, you are not a mistake.”