Since the "advanced" copy of his speech came out--wonder how it got leaked and who leaked it--and started to make the rounds of the email groups, those who know him and know me have been asking me what I thought of it. It, being Oscar Tan addressing his Hah-vahd graduating class.
My honest answer: I'm happy for him and I'm happy for his family.
Oscar Tan is a gifted writer, not so gifted in social or relational skills, but definitely a gifted writer--and it shows in his speech, which is so Oscar (if you've ever read what he has written, you know what I mean).
Congratulations Oscar, sincerely.
Hopefully, those nameless peasants and farmers who bore our legal education can start being paid back though by us, with undersubsidized U.P. and overpriced Hah-Vahd degrees*, through quality legal service rendered free and willingly. A first step perhaps would be to leave the current firm you're in right now and perhaps start treading the ground trod by those nameless peasants and farmers who bore our legal education? Practicing the law from the ground up or at ground level. Now, that would be putting an overpriced Hah-Vahd degree to good use and that would be practicing law in the grand (whatever that means)** manner.
* Disclaimer: I do not have a Hah-Vahd degree; I don't intend to get one. I do have a UP degree, which I am extremely proud of and which, pound for pound, I sincerely believe, despite everything, is worth more than an overpriced Hah-Vahd degree not only for what it gave me in terms of legal education but for what it did not give me but allowed me to look for, in terms of learning about law and lawyering for the people--lawyering from the ground up.
** The U.P. College of Law quite pompously advertises in granite in its lobby that "The purpose of a Law school is not sufficiently described by saying it is to teach law and to make lawyers but it is to teach law in the grand manner and to make great lawyers." It is a quote attributed to Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, of the U.S. Supreme Court (the same Justice who advocated eugenics in Buck v. Bell); it fails to sufficiently define what "grand" manner means, thereby leading to a surfeit of interpretations.