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In Praise of Platitudes n what may be a first, renowned litigator David Boies LLM ’67, chairman and founder of Boies, Schiller & Flexner, addressed NYU’s Class of 2013 at both the University’s 181st Commencement Exercises at Yankee Stadium on May 22 and the Law School’s Convocation on May 24 at the Beacon Theatre. Boies was introduced at Commencement by Kenji Yoshino, Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law, and received an honorary Doctorate of Laws from NYU President John Sexton, who described Boies as “arguably the lawyer of the century.” Indeed, Boies’s case


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for the legality of same-sex marriage was also arguably the most widely watched of the Supreme Court’s term. And, at the time of the ceremonies, the decision had yet to be rendered. Boies, a Law School Trustee, remarked on the inevitability of clichés in commencement speeches: “We tend to talk on a day like this in platitudes. Change the world. Don’t be afraid to fail. The problem is that it’s too easy to dismiss platitudes.” But, with a nod to his historic Proposition 8 case, he quickly pointed out how important they nonetheless are: “One of the

platitudes of our country is that all people are created equal. One is that every person has an inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We are engaged today in a civil rights struggle to try to end the last official bastion of discrimination in this country.” Mentioning the violence and officially sanctioned discrimination that gays and lesbians have historically faced, Boies said, “We’ve come a long way since then, but we have a long way still to go.” Continued

NYU Law Magazine 2013  
NYU Law Magazine 2013  

The annual magazine from NYU School of Law.