A Commencement With Some Extra Excitement Today

It’s graduation day for the law school this afternoon, and [starting around 2pm US East Coast time] you can watch the law school commencement live webcast from the comfort of your own home.

Prof. Caroline Bradley will be the Grand Marshall (the person leading the procession) and holding the mace; as far as we know she’ll be the first woman in the history of the law school to serve in this role.

Both the rally and the graduation demonstrations have been canceled, at the request of students groups. However, some faculty may be wearing buttons protesting the university administration’s disciplinary actions against students for their actions in support of the unionization campaign. Picketline blog has run a series of excellent essays on this subject, and I particularly recommend the Letter from Professor Hugh Thomas to UM Faculty Concerning Disciplinary Action Against the Students and the Excerpt from a Letter from Professor Roger Kanet to President Shalala Concerning Disciplinary Action Against Students.

I heard a rumor that Pres. Shalala banned the invocations from the college graduation, for fear of what the person of the cloth might say in favor of students or workers; whatever the truth of that story, I’m certain that the law school will stick to its traditions and have some sort of clerical although not highly sectarian benediction. Perhaps there might be some fireworks? (Although, to be honest, if we stick to tradition 100%, we’ll have a pretty boring invocation).

Most of the attention belongs to our graduates, who having survived three years of pretty hard work now face a grueling ordeal known as bar preparation … followed by years of hard work as junior lawyers. If you can, though, spare a tiny thought for me towards the back row of the stage, sweltering in my regalia.

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