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The election period has passed.
All graduating students (class of 2013) can vote for one candidate for commencement speaker
I promise not to mention the bar exam.
When Antonio "Scalia" Mendez first mentioned me as a candidate for student commencement speaker, we had some good laughs coming up with ideas for speeches. What started as a plan to approach the podium and call roll of every graduating student soon became calling roll according to nicknames - nicknames I would randomly assign to friends and strangers alike as I read down the list of our graduating class. What started as a plan to dress up as Clint Eastwood and give a rambling speech about nothing soon became a plan to hire an actual old man to give a speech about exactly what is wrong with our generation.
I have made many promises about this speech to a lot of people; most of these promises are impossible to keep, and at least six of them would get me arrested in more than one state. However, I can promise two things for sure:
1. I am not Dan Cunny. I have never been, nor will I ever be Dan Cunny. A vote for me as student commencement speaker is, I assure you, a vote for Andy Helm, and not Dan Cunny. If you would like Dan as your student commencement speaker, you should vote for him. Not me.
2. I will give a speech focused almost entirely on chickens and the law. Judge Friendly schooled us on what a chicken was in Contracts. We studied the nuisance of chicken farms in Property. Did you know there is such a job as "chicken catcher"? And that it is covered under the NLRA? Or that chickens could only be sold under certain price ceilings during World War II?
So which came first: the chicken, or the law? On our graduating day of law school, the culmination of years of hard work, let's sit back and ponder this for a few minutes. Maybe we will have a few more laughs while we do.
Congratulations everyone! Graduation in the past has been a bit awkward. Family comes to celebrate and praise the graduate but it was just a step. Looking back it is amusing remembering the anxiety we may have felt leading up to an Economics 101 or Psychology 101 final (if we only knew at the time the anxiety no the FEAR of 1L finals!) The last time we graduated it was not our last graduation and so it felt premature to celebrate.
This time it is different. I am pretty sure this is the last time most of us will be graduating-SO LETS ENJOY IT! It is a testament to how far we have all come and what we have accomplished together. We were able to overcome the fear of being 1Ls, outlast the countless hours of work we put in as 2Ls, and survive the boredom of repetition as 3Ls. Law school came at an expense for all of us -- in the broadest definition -- BUT the past three years have been worth it.
I feel lucky to have been surrounded by people I truly enjoyed spending my time with. We have had a chance to learn from each other and with each other (maybe even in spite of each other lol). We are about embark on our professional lives as lawyers because we put in the sweat, the tears, and the countless hours of studying-the hard work. The relationships we have developed over the past three years are no longer simply school acquaintances but enduring professional bonds.
This is a chance for us to look back and laugh at the stupid mistakes we have all made along the way; to breathe a sigh of relief knowing we somehow survived finals our first semester; to congratulate each other for all of our success; and to give our friends and family hug and say thanks.
This time it is not premature to celebrate. Id love to be your graduation speaker and I would appreciate your support.
TO: 2014 DU Law Graduates
FROM: Martha Legocki
RE: Our Final IRAC
Here we are, finally at the end of law school, and when we reach the end of things it is usually a good idea to stop and reflect.
We reflect on the Issues we have faced. Law school itself can seem like one dense, never-ending Issue. We consider the Rules we have learned: what is meant by "stream of commerce," sure, but also that any time after 1:00 p.m. the forum is a great place to find abandoned trays of pad Thai. Next, we do some Analysis: did we correctly apply all the Rules we learned? And we arrive at our Conclusion: yes, we sure did.
And so we are graduating.
Thank you for considering me as your graduation speaker. In my speech, I hope to honor all that we have accomplished as a class, while also celebrating our diversity. We all came from different backgrounds, chose law school for different reasons, and have already begun to leave a dynamic imprint on the world around us.I want to celebrate all of this in a lighthearted but meaningful way. I am proud to be a member of this class, and on May 17, it would be my honor to perform with you what will be our last IRAC together.
One of my favorite actors once said, "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when youre uncool."
At times, being inside the "law school bubble" felt like the spot-on embodiment of all that is uncool: late nights at the library, early mornings at the courthouse, and rambling, ultimately unproductive conversations over drinks about what Justice Scalia "really meant" in "that one" dissent.
To top it off, the outside world only seemed to add to our academic anxieties. Rents kept rising while the economy made little headway, and our local heroes underwent a thrashing at the Superbowl the same day the great actor whom I quoted above, Philip Seymour Hoffman, suddenly passed. I cannot say the last three years were the rosiest on record.
But just like the way hindsight rendered laughable our 1L trials and tribulations, our Denver Law experience is sure to soften the personal and professional challenges of the future. As a diverse group of driven people, we have accumulated in the depths of "uncoolness" a collective currency infinitely more durable than Bitcoin. If selected as commencement speaker, I hope to dwell on the incredible worth that currency will continue to have as we head into the bar exam and leave school behind. Despite the self-deprecation many of us bring to the table every day, it took enormous hard work and resilience to get to graduation, and we are deserving of a dose or two of self-praise.
I appreciate the vote of confidence this nomination entails and would be honored to make the commencement address the best work of comedy and inspiration a mere five minutes can possibly allow. Thank you so much for your support. Z.