Editor's note: Formal commencement exercises this year have been postponed to October 9-11 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. For details, please visit our commencement page.
Preet Bharara, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, will deliver the commencement address at William & Mary Law School’s graduation which will be held in the university’s Kaplan Arena at 8:15 a.m. on Sunday, May 17. During the event, the school will award degrees to approximately 220 students in the J.D. and LL.M. programs.
2019-2020 Student Bar Association President Rebecca Jaeger ’20 said she was delighted that Bharara accepted her class’s invitation to provide the address. “We are excited and honored to welcome Mr. Bharara as our graduation speaker,” she said. “Mr. Bharara is an excellent example of what it means to be a citizen lawyer, and we are eager to hear more about his inspiring life and legal career on May 17th.”
As U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 2009 to 2017, Bharara oversaw the investigation and litigation of all criminal and civil cases. He supervised an office of more than 200 Assistant U.S. Attorneys, who handled cases involving terrorism, narcotics and arms trafficking, financial and healthcare fraud, cybercrime, public corruption, gang violence, organized crime, and civil rights violations. The New York Times dubbed Bharara one of “the nation’s most aggressive and outspoken prosecutors.” In 2017, he joined the New York University School of Law faculty as a Distinguished Scholar in Residence. He is the author of a top-five New York Times bestselling book, "Doing Justice: A Prosecutor's Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law." He also is the Executive Vice President of Some Spider Studios and the host of CAFE’s “Stay Tuned with Preet,” a podcast focused on issues of justice and fairness.
Bharara graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College and from Columbia Law School, where he was a member of the law review.
About William & Mary Law School
Thomas Jefferson founded William & Mary Law School in 1779 to train leaders for the new nation. Now in its third century, America’s oldest law school continues its historic mission of educating citizen lawyers who are prepared both to lead and to serve.