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Of envelopes and entrees

VLS 34th  Commencement

VLS 34th Commencement

The ceremonies were a blur.  Families,  friends, and benefactors merged into a great sea of awe and encouragement. Vermont Law School puts on a graduation ceremony worthy of your hopes and hours of sacrifice, then sends you off sobbing,  just the way you came.

This last semester of law school was an entangling. The days were filled with breaks, and breakdowns. Each of us taking our turn, the class of ’09,  subject to anxiety, loan debt sticker shock or new wave economic depression. It made the days unpredictable and bonded us the way layers of earth tell the story of time in color, and texture. We are tightly packed and arranged by arrival.  We are the bright shiny things of tomorrow and knowing it, takes a little joy away and exchanges it for a second thought, a moment of fear, and a opening just small enough to hold your insecurities.

The questions have come in waves since the the end of the second summer. Where will you go? What will you do? What bar exam will you sit for? Seemingly harmless queries, quite like daggers aimed at the heart, separate you from your ego. Where do you go in the worst depression since the crash, where do you work when experienced attorneys are turned out in the hundreds, hitting the ranks of the unemployed like so many strikes? Where do you search for reserves and smiles when the revolution comes to your town, and your town stretches across fifty states?

Vermont Law has a special place in the pantheon of legal educational institutes. She was number one in environmental law when we came in and there she remains. A special pocket of law and life where your ability is trumped by your energy and effort. Vermont is the place where David beats Goliath, where the heart is your shield and sword. In this place curiosity is king and the swans can kill you, even while you look down your nose at them.

I will miss the chase breezeway, the scene of so many a culture club. I will miss the smiling faces that greeted me in So Ro to go, but most of all I will miss the warm feeling that comes with knowing that the degree that comes at the end of the trip was a team effort.  Each moment of my future is hoisted onto the kind words of professors, the knowing nods of  Deans and the stealthy support of the law librarians.  Community makes all the difference. Friends fill in the spaces here, where the repetition would lead to madness, they pick up the slack and reinforce the weaker bits with tears, laughs and commiseration. I will miss them too.

The next few steps will be shaky ones, new places will test our mettle and all that we came to do will finally come to pass.  Thanks to the office of admissions you will be able to keep tabs on me. I blog on as a new alum.

The March

until then,



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