Yesterday Mitt Romney ’75 walked out of the Massachusetts governor’s office and handed the ceremonial statehouse keys to Governor-elect Deval Patrick ’82. Patrick will be sworn in today as the state’s 71st governor, making him the latest in a string of Harvard Law grads to occupy the state’s corner office.

Patrick’s election follows a career as a senior Justice Department lawyer and as general counsel for Coca Cola. While a student at HLS, he was active in the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, serving as the organization’s president. He also participated in — and won — the prestigious Ames moot court competition.

Romney, who was elected in 2002 and decided not to seek a second term, is poised to launch a campaign for president as soon as next month. He filed papers yesterday with the Federal Election Commission establishing a presidential exploratory committee.

In addition to Romney and Patrick, former governors William Weld ’70 and Michael Dukakis ’60 are both Harvard Law graduates.

Click here to read an election night story on how Harvard Law alumni across the country fared in the 2006 elections.