On Stereotypes and the University of Michigan Law School Graduation

December 27, 2004

On December 22, Jordan graduated from the University of Michigan law school (see picture in his post below). I was fortunate enough to attend. I found it interesting that the University of Michigan lived up to its stereotypes of being a “liberal” school, even in the graduation addresses.

In one single graduation ceremony we heard an anti-Mormon epithet, an anti-Scalia rant (quite a long and partisan one), an anti-Bush-nominee rant, and an anti-large-law-firm criticism (although Professor Cooper, of Wright & Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure fame, did also present a good counter-argument to that particular criticism).

What I find amazing is the intolerance of liberals as expressed in these speeches given by supposedly liberal people. The remarks about Latter-day Saints were particularly offensive. Didn’t the speaker realize that there were numerous Latter-day Saints in the audience? She must have known that at least three of the other students in her (admittedly small) December graduating class were LDS and that their families were likely to be there. On a human level, not a political or religious level, where is the politeness that would, it seems to me, naturally disuade someone from slurring a particular religion in a graduation speech? Mere courtesy demands a softening of one’s views in such a speech to a general audience. I suppose that the callousness and intolerance exhibited by such behavior stems from the same “liberal” ideas that bring University of Michigan law students e.g. to spit on those who decide to interview with the Air Force JAG on campus. Very open-minded and tolerant, indeed.

Aside from these peculiarities (resulting, it seems, from the existential identity of the University of Michigan), it was a very enjoyable occasion and one of which Jordan should definitely be proud. After all, discourteous and intolerant or not, it is a top-ten law school with a very highly esteemed reputation and the mere name of which on a resume will open doors that remain perpetually shut to graduates of other law schools not so high on the list of rankings.


December 27, 2004

Here is a picture from my recent law school graduation. I graduated on December 22, 2004. My brother, John, surprised me with a visit from Utah, so he is also in this picture:

And I really like the Old Saxon Christmas story posted below, John!