Congratulations to the Class of 2009!

Congratulations to the Class of 2009!
June 15, 2009

The University of Chicago Law School conferred degrees upon 203 Doctors of Law and 50 Masters of Laws on Friday, June 12 in its traditional hooding ceremony at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel.

“We are counting on you to make the world a better place,” Dean Saul Levmore told graduates in his opening remarks. “To bring new imagination and care to all. To apply the great ideas you have learned here and to convey the Chicago passion for excellence wherever you go.”

As part of the ceremony, Levmore presented Gary A. Haugen (J.D.,’91), President and CEO of the International Justice Mission, a Distinguished Citizen Award for his work with the human rights agency.

Haugen urged graduates to find purpose in their professional careers.

“If your life in the law does not have a great purpose, it will not produce great joy,” said Haugen. “Relentlessly make your work in the law connect the things that authentically matter to the satisfaction of your soul.

“There will be plenty of those who will want and expect your legal expertise to things that matter to them, to their enterprise, to their ambition, or their empire. But for yours? Your work must connect to something that matters to you.”

Haugen said he has found purpose in the law by helping people throughout the world enforce their legal rights.

Judge Richard Posner, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and Senior Lecturer in Law, said the current economic crisis is transforming the legal world, and he told graduates to foreswear nostalgia for the past. He predicted the end of lock-step compensation, client trust and hourly billing as the law changes from a professional to a business model.

“Embrace the future,” Posner concluded. “The challenges are very great but the opportunities are limitless.”

Faculty Hooders Bernard Harcourt, the Julius Kreeger Professor of Law; Randal Picker, the Paul H. and Theo Leffman Professor of Commerical Law; Lior Strahilevitz, Professor of Law; and David Strauss, the Gerald Ratner Distinguished Service Professor of Law, met graduates receiving their diplomas. Family members who were University alumni hooded other graduates.