Law students across the nation are graduating. Graduation is obviously a time for celebration, but with these harsh economic conditions, the mind of an impending law school graduate is unfortunately filled with worries. Commencement speakers are undoubtedly addressing these concerns and offering advice for how to succeed in this economic environment. TaxProf has a detailed list of law school commencement speakers, and the names include great successes such as Elena Kagan (the potential SCOTUS nominee), Rudy Giuliani, Eric Holder, Michael Mukasey, and Karl Rove (ok, maybe he shouldn’t be classified as a success). Surely, these speakers should be able to provide law school graduates with insightful advice about how to succeed both in the legal profession and in life outside the law (it exists…I think). Right?
Timothy Noah, of Slate Magazine, however, has some unconventional advice for schools when it comes to picking commencement speakers: “Don’t invite people who succeeded. Invite people who failed.” Noah explains that “people typically have a much easier time recounting, in often vivid detail, where they screwed up in life than they do explaining what they did right.” This is certainly a novel approach. I’m not so sure how this would go over with the higher ups, but I kind of like it. In fact, I’m going to begin openly campaigning for Rod Blagojevich as our commencement speaker.