commencement-promo.inside.jpg											Harvard Law School graduation festivities began on Class Day, Wednesday, May 26, and continued through Commencement Day on Thursday, May 27. This year, the Law School conferred a total of 761 degrees—589 J.D.s, 161 LL.M.s, and 11 S.J.D.s.

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The Law School’s Class Day program began on Wednesday, May 26, on Holmes Field, in front of Langdell Library. Professor Michael Klarman received the Sacks-Freund Teaching Award, staff member Judy Murciano received the Suzanne L. Richardson Staff Recognition Award, and several students were recognized for their leadership. The honorees were selected by the 2010 graduating class.

Samantha Power, special assistant to the president and senior director for multilateral affairs and human rights at the National Security Council, was the Class Day speaker.

Harvard University’s 359th Commencement officially began on Thursday, May 27. The HLS class of 2010 marched from the Law School campus to Tercentenary Theater in Harvard Yard at 7:45 a.m. The University-wide ceremony, in which President Drew Faust confers the degrees upon the graduates, officially began at 9:45 a.m. Over 32,000 graduates, friends, and family gathered for the ceremony.

The Harvard Law School diploma ceremony and luncheon was held in front of Langdell Library. After Dean Martha Minow spoke to the graduating class (pdf), she presented each graduate with his or her diploma.

View the video of Dean Minow’s remarks and the Commencement ceremony.

Finally, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter ’66 was the principal speaker at Harvard University’s Afternoon Exercises. Read his prepared remarks here.

Commencement 2010 News & Events:

In a Commencement Day speech to Harvard’s newest graduates, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter ’66 said that judges have no choice but to interpret the U.S. Constitution beyond its plain language, and he criticized those who argue that its meaning “lies there … waiting for a judge to read it fairly.”

As the 761 members of the Class of 2010 were about to start their journey onto the next step in their lives, Dean Martha Minow took a moment to talk to them about another journey: “Your work and interactions can bring heart and mercy—if you make it so. No matter what difficulties humanity faces, we can build mechanisms of order and rescue, even in times of extreme difficulty.”

During Class Day exercises on May 26, Professor Michael Klarman received the Class of 2010’s Sacks-Freund Teaching Award in honor of his teaching ability, openness to student concerns, and contributions to student life at HLS.

Senior adviser in the Obama Administration and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Samantha Power ’99 was the 2010 Class Day speaker at HLS. Power addressed a law school audience in Holmes Field on May 26, the day before Commencement, urging graduates to make the most of their law school degrees and of every moment of their lives.

Two graduating students who each contributed more than 2,500 hours of free legal services while at Harvard Law School shared this year’s Andrew L. Kaufman Pro Bono Service Award, while the Class of 2010 surpassed the HLS record for pro bono hours, performing a total of 329,934 hours, an average of 553 hours per student.

Judith Murciano, fellowship director in the Bernard Koteen Office of Public Interest Advising at Harvard Law School, received the Suzanne L. Richardson Staff Recognition Award during Class Day exercises. She was selected by the class of 2010 for her demonstrated commitment to the student experience and for her concern for students’ lives and work at the Law School.