Hon. Donald B. Verrilli delivers Dickinson School of Law commencement address

May 20, 2015

Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. on Saturday offered some words of advice for the graduating class of the Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University: Do sweat the small stuff.

“These day-in-day-out kinds of choices are the ones that matter most,” Verrilli, the commencement speaker, told the class. “These choices aren’t just going to define what kind of person you are, they are going to define what kind of lawyer you become.”

Verrilli, the U.S. Justice Department’s top Supreme Court advocate, addressed the graduating class noting that the profession they are about to enter exists to serve the public good. Verrilli joined the Justice Department from Jenner & Block in 2009. While in private practice, he maintained an active pro bono practice.

“It’s not about delivering a brilliant argument before the Supreme Court or a scintillating closing argument to the jury, or a Perry Mason-esque cross-examination that destroys a key witness,” said Verrilli. “None of that ultimately matters. Integrity is what ultimately matters.”

The Penn State Dickinson School of Law held its 2015 commencement at its historic Carlisle location, a “special place” as Verrilli noted in his speech because of the community of legal scholars and the contributions to the community from students in their own scholarly and clinical work.

As he finished his commencement speech, Verrilli told the members of the Class of 2015 to “go out and show the world what you are made of.” 

Last Updated July 22, 2015