Closing Thoughts

May 11, 2012 | By Jeff Riles, Student Bar Association President

This weekend, my best friends and I will be hooded and conferred with Juris Doctor degrees from a place we have come to call home. 

It is true what they say, that law school is hard, and the academics are rigorous. But, it has been an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything. 

You see, as much as I’ve learned at the College of Law about our nation’s founding transcribed in the text of our Constitution, or debated with my friends about the merits of an emerging area of Environmental Law, I have sincerely learned that we are more alike then we are different. I have learned that as future lawyers, as future friends, we have a special purpose in our world: to give a voice to those in need. 

I’ve learned that the answer to life’s most difficult question is: maybe. Maybe, if you can back it up, but you better be sure to fully consider the alternative. 

I’ve learned that we can passionately disagree, with out disagreeing with who we are. 

I’ve learned that the world is a much bigger place than we can possibly imagine, and we should be doing everything we can to help those who need it most. 

I’ve learned that we can speak up with great passion when necessary, and perhaps more importantly, listen to each other even more closely. 

When one of our alumni, Tom McDaniel from the class of 1963, came and spoke with us this year, he challenged us to understand that leading is serving. 

I’m proud to say, that I know my class, the class of 2012, is full of great servants who will give, and give generously, out of the overflow of our hearts. Our faculty challenged and inspired us. Our staff counseled and encouraged us. Our friends have carried us through it. We are better for it. And, we owe it all to a wonderful place called OU College of Law.

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