US Attorney Preet Bharara has made a name for himself taking down both Wall Street power players and influential New York state politicians — and now, The Wall Street Journal reports, he’s become the hottest speaker on the law school graduation circuit.
Over the course of three years, Bharara has addressed six law school graduation ceremonies, according to The Journal.
His speaking gigs include some of the top programs in the world, such as Harvard Law School, Columbia Law School, and the University of California Berkeley School of Law. Bharara has also spoken at Pace Law School, Fordham Law School (though not at its graduation), and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
On Thursday, Bharara adds another law school graduation speech to his resume, addressing the New York University School of Law.
Aside from his accomplishments as an attorney, Bharara has become well known as an excellent speaker, who provides a personal touch to each school he visits. As law blog Above The Law wrote about his “awesome” Harvard Law speech, the attorney “managed to combine humour and wisdom, in magnificent fashion.”
Above The Law’s David Lat notes that as a Harvard College graduate, Bharara even managed to poke some fun at his alma mater.
“I have had an unexpectedly productive trip so far. I arrived last evening, stopped by the Business School, dropped off some subpoenas, arrested a couple of guys for insider trading, and finished off the night sipping a scorpion bowl at the Kong,” Bharara said, referencing the charges he brought against HBS alums such as Rajat Gupta, as well as the popular Hong Kong Restaurant in Harvard Square.
In his speeches, though, Bharara also provides insight and advice for future lawyers.
“Be not just a good lawyer, but a good person and find opportunities to be good to other people,” he told graduates at Columbia Law School, where he received his law degree.
Here’s another standout section of his speech at Columbia:
In fairly short order, you will be perched at the very pinnacles of power, counseling some of the most influential people in the world — people with the power to affect markets and alter economies, people with the power to pass laws and wage war. Some of you may even assume positions that give you that kind of power directly.
And when you get there, you will have a choice: you can choose to be either a leader or a lemming.
A leader is a person of courage and action, with integrity and an independent mind.
A lemming is a small and unattractive rodent that will follow other unattractive rodents off a cliff. Choose to be the former.
Always remember that, as a lawyer, you are not an ordinary professional.
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