On Becoming a Lawyer: Some Challenges for the Future

This is probably the most difficult speech that I have ever had to make. I know this because I have agonized for weeks over it, pondering themes, writing and then discarding drafts, and occasionally rejecting the entire project as a fruitless endeavor. No doubt, some of you have experienced what I have been feeling when you have tried to put words to paper on a final exam, independent research project, or law review note. Nevertheless, my own reluctance to complete this task was baffling to me; after all, during the past decade, I have given well over fifty formal speeches and literally hundreds of lectures in class.

It finally dawned on me, while traveling last week, that my reluctance to deliver this graduation address merely mirrors my reluctance to leave Michigan. In a sense, the celebration of your graduation is a reminder to me of my own coming farewell to Michigan. My problem has been that I am much more reluctant about leaving than are you.