Thursday, June 4, 2015

New England School of Law 2015 Commencement Address

Last Friday, I had the honor and privilege to watch my daughter, Justine, graduate from the New England School of Law. The Honorable Ralph D. Gants, a Massachusetts Supreme Court Judge, presented the commencement address. As a Toastmaster, I have been trained to listen to speeches with a constructively critical ear. Judge Gants didn?t let me down.

He combined humor with a serious message to these 200 law graduates, inspiring them with a concise, purposeful delivery that opened and closed with a reference to the Star Wars movie franchise.

In the speech, he urged them to ignore the common ?nonsense? surrounding the law industry, giving brief but sound reasoning to his arguments:

1. That we have too many lawyers in our country
2. That we do not need lawyers, that all they do is slow us down and generate needless litigation
3. That only large law firm?s deal with the most challenging legal issues.
4. That all the innovation in our society is being driven by entrepreneurs, business people, and investment managers, and that lawyers are still doing law the same way they have for generations.
5. That law is no longer a vehicle for social change.

He opened and closed the speech, which lasted no longer than 10 minutes, with references to Jedi knights. A transcript of the speech can be read at

"May the force be with you!" (Kevin O?Neil, CC, Loudoun Toastmasters, May 28, 2015)

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