Dean Robert C. Post ’77 Welcomes Class of 2018

Yale Law School’s new students gathered on Wednesday, August 26, for convocation ceremonies in the Levinson Auditorium.

Dean Robert C. Post ’77 addressed the incoming students with a description of how the class will learn and grow together: “Our task, in the next three years, is to take the 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, which is to say to listen hard to what your peers have to teach to you. Your peers will be your greatest resource here at the Law School.”

Dean Post mentioned the variety of backgrounds and talents of the 201 students who make up the Class of 2018. The students hail from six different countries, 36 different states, and 72 different undergraduate institutions. They speak 34 different languages and hold 43 advanced graduate degrees.

Post emphasized that there are as many different futures as there are backgrounds for the students at Yale Law School.

“[T]here are many different paths, and your primary challenge while you are here is to determine what success will mean for you—you personally—because you will have to discover for yourself what will give your own life meaning and satisfaction,” said Post.

The members of class include a capitol correspondent for Alaska Public Media, a speechwriter for Secretary of State John Kerry, and a reporter for The New Republic. This group of students also includes many authors, athletes, a bronze star recipient, a Jeopardy! contestant, and the lead guitarist in a Beatles tribute band. Globally, members of the class have provided solar power in Kenya, produced a music album of songs in Chinese and English, edited a guidebook on 100+ things to do in Dominica, and founded an international humanitarian start-up.

In addition to the Class of 2018, 14 transfer students joined the Class of 2017. Several graduate students from around the world also arrived on campus to begin their studies, including 23 LLM students, two MSL students, nine JSD students, and three new candidates for the degree of PhD in Law.

In his address, Post reminded the incoming class that the study of law is not about memorizing a set of rules but of learning to solve complicated legal problems.

“You will learn that legal problems do not arrive on your doorstep neatly wrapped with white ribbons and names,” said Post. “They do not come with labels and instructions. They instead present themselves as complex and murky concatenations of events. And your challenge will be to determine exactly which legal issues lie hidden in these events.”