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Pomp and circumstance

It’s graduation season, and all across Virginia, indeed the country, schools will be holding commencement ceremonies, conferring degrees and welcoming new members of the community of educated individuals.

Some law schools graduate their students with everyone else, and some schools hold a separate ceremony. Doesn’t seem to be any real pattern.

At Washington & Lee, for example, the law school had its ceremony last week. American Bar Association President Carolyn Lamm was the commencement speaker.

Back in 1985, Sen. John Warner was our law school commencement speaker. I remember that he railed against a lawyer with a license plate, “I Sue 4 U” and not much else.

After seeing that Lamm, who practices in DC, was at W&L, I wondered who else was giving the address at other law schools.

U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer spoke at the University of Richmond law ceremonies, also held last weekend. A very quick Google search, and here you have a couple this weekend: Former Pennsylvania Gov. and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge is at Penn State. U.S. Sen. Scott Brown goes back to his alma mater, Boston College law. And retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor will speak to the law class at the school where she is chancellor, William & Mary.

The following weekend? The U.Va. law school also has tapped a U.S. Senator who is an alum, U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island. At Vermont Law School, former Gov. Howard Dean will give the commencement address. Whether he’ll scream at the end has not been announced.

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