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Virginia’s law schools prep for commencement

Virginia’s eight law schools will begin a round of commencement exercises this weekend. The graduation speakers at the schools are an eclectic lot. Here’s a rundown of who will be offering comments at ceremonies across the commonwealth.

Appalachian School of Law. ASL will hold its commencement this coming weekend. On April 30, the speaker is former Kentucky governor Paul E. Patton, now president of Pikeville College, also in the Bluegrass State.

May 7 is a big day, with commencement at three schools.

Richmond. Anne Holton, the former First Lady of Virginia who also served as a Juvenile & Domestic Relations judge in Richmond, will be speaking. Her husband Tim, the former governor and wannabe senator, is a part-time instructor at the UR law school.

Regent. Regent University combines its law graduation with the undergraduate festivities. The speaker will be the Rev. Mosa Sono, pastor at Grace Baptist Church, in Soweto, South Africa. Grace Baptist Church is one of South Africa’s leading churches, with a network of satellite congregations throughout the country.

Washington and Lee. Nina Totenberg, legal affairs correspondent at National Public Radio, will speak. Totenberg regularly covers the U.S. Supreme Court.

The next weekend, two more schools will launch the Class of 2011.

Liberty. On May 14, Liberty University will host Randall Wallace, a Lynchburg native and Hollywood screenwriter who won an Oscar for “Braveheart,” presenting remarks. Liberty Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. said that he wanted to invite Wallace to Liberty after hearing him give a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in DC in February.

William & Mary. The next day, the William & Mary law class will hear from Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., who graduated from Harvard Law School but never took a bar exam or practiced law. Instead, he went into politics and cell phone sales, both of which worked out pretty well for him.

The Virginia eight will wrap up the weekend after that.

George Mason. George Mason University traditionally has a student speaker at its ceremony, and he/she has not been named yet.

Virginia. U.Va. will graduate its law students on May 22. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will speak in Charlottesville.

- Paul Fletcher

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