Although he is best known for his time as governor of Massachusetts, William Weld ’70 spoke about his career at a recent reunion of Harvard Law alumni and focused primarily on his experience as a U.S. attorney and Justice Department prosecutor. Through a series of anecdotes, Weld outlined his belief in “law enforcement as an instrument of public policy.”

Weld cited a series of cases and prosecutions to reinforce this assertion. Among many examples, he mentioned the litigation that initiated the clean up Boston Harbor.

Calling the position of U.S. attorney, “the best job I’ve ever had,” Weld said, “You absolutely can translate what you do into the formulation and application and thrust of public policy every day.”

Weld also touched on his accomplishments as governor, particularly on the issues of welfare reform, mental health reform, and child support enforcement.

Dean Elena Kagan ’86 introduced Weld and praised his varied career, which includes significant stints in the private sector as well as his experience in government. “Over the last couple of days we’ve heard from a great number of people who’ve had extraordinary lives in public service and in the public interest, but even among these Bill Weld’s career stands out,” said Kagan.

Weld’s speech was part of a three-day Celebration of Public Interest that took place on the HLS campus this past weekend.

Watch a webcast of the Weld luncheon speech. (RealPlayer required.)