Dean Robert Post '77 Welcomes the Class of 2016 to Yale Law School

With a new class of 199 J.D. students filling the seats of the Levinson Auditorium Tuesday, Dean Robert C. Post ’77 told the Class of 2016 to prepare for one of the “greatest adventures” of their lives.

“As of today, as of this instant, everything will begin to change,” said Post at the 2013 Convocation. “Our 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.”

The Class of 2016 hails from 4 different countries, 33 different states, and 72 different undergraduate institutions. Included among this diverse and unique group is a competitive synchronized swimmer, a foreign policy advisor and speechwriter, a sketch writer from 30 Rock, and a police drill instructor. They have also travelled the world, living and working in 63 different countries – including volunteering at a South African monkey sanctuary and studying the effects of climate change in the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. Collectively, the Class of 2016 speaks 31 different languages and holds 42 advanced degrees ranging in subjects from Biochemistry to Poetry.

During his address, Dean Post also noted the diversity of the programs at Yale Law School, where in addition to the J.D. students, dozens of new graduate students will begin their studies this fall. These students include 22 LLM candidates, 3 MSL candidates, 13 transfer students, 8 JSD candidates, and 5 new candidates for the inaugural Ph.D. class. Incoming graduate students arrive from six continents and more than 23 countries around the world.

“We will encourage you to learn from each other,” said Post. “Which is to say to listen hard to what your peers have to teach to you, and to respect—how difficult that is—the heterogeneous perspectives that your classmates in good faith will bring to a common conversation.”

Describing Yale Law School as an “intense and vibrant community,” he urged students to use their time here wisely, drawing on the wisdom of the talented faculty and the tremendous resources available both inside and outside of the four walls of the Sterling Law Building.

“Take advantage of these next three years,” said Post. “If you are anything like most of the alums that I meet, these will be among the most wonderful three years of your life—the most exciting, the most provocative, the most transformative, the most empowering. Use them well, and good luck.”

The first day of classes at the law school will take place on Monday, September 9.