Commencement bannersOn June 4, Harvard Law School graduates of the Class of 2009 marched to Harvard University’s Tercentenary Theatre where 32,000 degree candidates, family members, faculty, alumni and guests convened for morning exercises. President Drew Gilpin Faust conferred degrees to graduates by school.

The law school diploma ceremony began at 11:45 in front of the Langdell Library, where Acting Dean Howell Jackson awarded diplomas to Doctors of Juridical Science (S.J.D.), Masters of Laws (LL.M.) and Doctors of Law (J.D.). This year, the law school conferred 731 degrees, 567 JDs, 151 LLMs, and 13 S.J.D.s. Watch Harvard Law School’s Commencement ceremony.

Harvard Law School commencement exercises began on Wednesday, June 3, with a Class Day program on Holmes Field.

U.S. Solicitor General and former HLS Dean Elena Kagan ’86 was the keynote speaker. During Class Day ceremonies, HLS professor Elizabeth Warren received the Sacks-Freund Award for excellence in teaching, and Ellen Cosgrove, associate dean and dean of students, received the Suzanne Richardson Staff Appreciation Award. Both honorees were selected by the graduating class of 2009.

Several student awards were also presented, including awards for citizenship, community leadership, and pro bono work.

Continuing Commencement coverage below:

On June 3 and 4, the Harvard Law School Class of 2009 celebrated the end of one adventure and the beginning of many news ones. View a slideshow of HLS Class Day and Commencement 2009.

Petraeus swearing-inPetraeus at HLS for military promotion ceremony
On June 3, General David Petraeus, the current Commander of U.S. Central Command, was on hand for the re-commissioning ceremony of two military officers who were being promoted to the rank of Captain—one in the Army and the other in the Air Force. Kyle Scherer ’09 and Nicholas Siler took their oaths in the Caspersen Room of Langdell Library. Read More.

Jackson and KaganUnited States Solicitor General Elena Kagan ’86 addresses HLS graduating Class of 2009
In a Class Day address on June 3, U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan ’86 acknowledged that this year’s graduating class finds itself at an inflection point in society, facing great economic and political changes. But, she said, students should take advantage of these changing times because the greatest challenges often produce the biggest opportunities. Read More.

Class of 2009 Racks up Record 308,605 Hours of Pro Bono Service
Demonstrating a strong commitment to public service, the class of 2009 put in a record total of 308,605 pro bono hours, more than any previous class. Read More.

HLS Professor Elizabeth Warren at Class DayElizabeth Warren Wins Sacks-Freund Award for Teaching
Professor Elizabeth Warren is the winner of the Class of 2009’s Sacks-Freund Teaching Award, presented at Class Day exercises in honor of her teaching ability, openness to student concerns and contributions to student life at HLS. Read More.

Dean of Students Ellen CosgroveEllen Cosgrove Wins Richardson Award
Dean of Students Ellen Cosgrove received the Suzanne L. Richardson Staff Recognition Award during this year’s Class Day Program. She was selected by the class of 2009 for her demonstrated commitment to the student experience and her concern for students’ lives and work at HLS. Read more.

HLS ShieldCogan and Saris receive Harvard Medal
Two Harvard Law School alumni received the 2009 Harvard Medal during the annual meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) in conjunction with Harvard Commencement on June 4. Jack Cogan, Jr. ’52 and Patti Saris ’76 were recognized for their extraordinary service to Harvard University. Read More.


Ronald Dworkin LL.B. ’57

Ronald Dworkin LL.B. ’57

Ronald Dworkin ’57 receives honorary doctorate from Harvard
Legal philosopher Ronald Dworkin LL.B. ’57 received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Harvard University during the 358th Commencement Exercises in Tercentenary Theater on June 4. Read More.