82 Fordham L. Rev. Res Gestae 1 (2013-2014)

handle is hein.journals/resgest4 and id is 1 raw text is: COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS

Preet Bharara *
Dean Martin, Father McShane, distinguished faculty, proud parents,
family, friends, and most of all, to the graduating class of 2013,
congratulations on your accomplishments today.
Thank you for inviting me to speak here today. It is more than a
I want to give a special shout out to one group of graduates present
today-the students who supplemented their fine Fordham educations with
some practical training as interns in my office. I think there are twenty-
three of you here. Congratulations to you and thanks for the free labor.
I may not be an alumnus of this fine institution, but I was a proud teacher
of legal writing here for two years before taking a job in Washington, and I
will always be grateful more for what I learned than what I taught at
So here we are, all dressed up on a Sunday morning. And it occurs to me
that many of you, quite frankly, should be in church-especially after last
night's parties. But I guess you have a pretty good excuse today.
Now, if you would indulge me, even though we are not in church, I
would like to spend my short time here talking about what I think is an
important question of faith. But the question of faith that I have in mind
does not relate to any particular book of scripture or doctrine of theology.
Rather, I want to address the question of faith in the profession on which
you are now embarking.
Here's a newsflash: not everyone is enamored of lawyers. I hope that's
not too much of a buzz kill on graduation day.
And these days, it is understandably hard, sometimes, to have full faith in
the legal profession. A lot of it we bring on ourselves-lawyers have no
doubt done things to earn much of the mockery and disdain often dispensed
upon us.
Our reputation is that we talk too much; we argue too much; we sue too
much; we bill too much. That we are too litigious, too scorched-earth, too
materialistic, too self-interested. That we exalt form over substance; we
cause more problems than we solve; and we are prepared to win at any cost.
* Preet Bharara is the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. These remarks
were made during the commencement ceremony for the 2013 graduating class of Fordham
University School of Law on May 19, 2013, at Radio City Music Hall. The text of his
remarks has been lightly edited. The views expressed herein are his alone.


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