On May 16, 2010 in Bailey Hall, President David Skorton and Dean Stewart Schwab presided over the graduation of 260 new "lawyers in the best sense."
After Schwab and Skorton welcomed the guests and congratulated the red-robed graduates, Jesse Horn J.D.'10 praised the efforts of his classmates, and the faculty and staff of Cornell Law School. "What we can put in our hearts and take with us is what has been done for us and how effectively those efforts have been accomplished," he said.
Frank Tietie Zhang L.L.M. '10 then reminisced with his fellow graduates about the "wonderful" times they had had at Cornell, and asked them to "take the spirit of Cornell Law School to all corners of the world."
The faculty speaker chosen by the students, Charles K. Whitehead, encouraged each graduate to be guided by his or her own inner compass as they enter the world of legal practice, where "for the first time, your work will affect others' lives, rather than simply your own grades."
Drawing on the recent financial crisis, Whitehead noted that "the best representation typically includes thoughtful questioning - asking whether a particular instrument or practice or other conduct is right, when others appear to be less concerned." The result, he said, was a responsibility, even in times that test a young lawyer's resolve, to go beyond "a narrow view of what's legal and what's not and focus, as well, on what's right.
After Whitehead's speech, Assistant Dean John DeRosa recognized the graduates, and the new J.D.s, L.L.M.s, J.S.D.s, J.D./L.L.M.s, J.D./Maîtrises, and the sole J.D./M.LL.P. uncorked champagne to celebrate under the brilliant blue sky of an Ithaca spring day.