I’d like to take a moment to tell you all a little about who you are as a class. To say you are achievers would be an understatement. And while law school can be challenging, I’d like to remind you of some of the amazing things you’ve already accomplished.
You come from over 105 universities. Many of you did not stop with just a Bachelors degree, 7% of you have already earned graduate degrees including PhDs and MDs.
You are bilingual, trilingual and even quadrilingual in languages including Mandarin, Cantonese, Hebrew, Spanish, German, Italian, Punjabi, Hindi, Korean, French, and Greek.
You have lived and traveled all over the country and world. You are from more than 15 states and six countries outside the US. You have served our country returning from Afghanistan and Kandahar. You have ventured to Indonesia and traveled through much of Europe including Cantabria Spain on a Fulbright scholarship.
Your athleticism rivals the Olympics. In fact, you’ve participated in the Special Olympics. You have placed in national competitions, world competitions and are reigning supreme in tennis, volleyball, rowing and football.
The arts are a part of your daily life. You are trumpet players, violinists, and in jazz choirs. You play every instrument in both an orchestra and a band. You are award winning poets, ballet dancers with the San Francisco ballet, and have worked for the NY Film Academy. You even have interests in Icelandic sagas and glassblowing.
You dominate the tech and corporate worlds- having worked for companies such as Sony-Columbia Records and MySpace as well as being business owners yourselves. You have a real interest in the environment as well as in the government having worked as conservation biologists, for the national geographic, the justice corp, the peace corp, AmeriCorps, the State Department, and the IRS.
You have left your mark in politics – you have been mayoral candidates, and interned for Senator Barbara Boxer. Legislators and governors have relied on your work.
You have empowered women, children, minorities, the physically and mentally challenged, the homeless, the elderly and the disadvantaged.
You understand the law through your own personal experiences. You have worked for the courts, district attorney’s offices, public defender’s offices, and state prisons. You are beneficiaries of the Dream Act. You have personally overcome challenges and found support through your mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and children who you credit are the reason you are here today.
I am in awe of who you are, what you’ve already accomplished and what you will accomplish here at UC Hastings. If I may leave you with one piece of advice as you embark on this new journey that is law school, it is this: remember who you are and what brought you to UC Hastings. Thank you and once again, Welcome to UC Hastings!