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U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. will deliver the May Commencement address for the School of Law. The service will be at 10 a.m. May 12 in Carmichael Arena.
“As the nation’s top government attorney, with a remarkable record of prior public service, Holder will offer our graduates an extraordinary perspective on the duties and opportunities in their chosen profession,” said Dean Jack Boger ’74 (JD).
Holder was chosen by a committee of law students from the graduating class. He is the second successive attorney general to speak at the law school’s Commencement. Michael B. Mukasey, who served under President George W. Bush from 2007 to 2009, spoke in 2009.
Holder is the first African-American to hold the post. He was a litigation partner at Covington & Burling LLP in Washington. From 1997 to 2001, Holder served under President Bill Clinton as deputy attorney general, the first African-American named to that post.
A native of New York City, he attended Columbia College, majored in American history and graduated in 1973. He graduated from Columbia Law School in 1976. While in law school, he clerked at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Legal Defense Fund and the Department of Justice’s criminal division. Upon graduating, he moved to Washington and joined the Department of Justice as part of the Attorney General’s Honors Program. He was assigned to the newly formed Public Integrity Section in 1976 and was tasked to investigate and prosecute official corruption on the local, state and federal levels.
In 1988, Holder was nominated by President Ronald Reagan to become an associate judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. In 1993, he was selected by President Clinton as the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia.