U.S. Solicitor General to Address Law Graduates

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United States Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson will deliver the keynote speech during law commencement exercises for the Class of 2004. Mr. Olson will be the featured speaker at the Law School’s hooding ceremony, which will take place on May 8, 2004 at 6:00 p.m. in Cameron Indoor Stadium on the Duke University campus.

“The Law School is fortunate that the Solicitor General has agreed to help us honor our Class of 2004,” said Katharine T. Bartlett, Duke Law School’s Dean and A. Kenneth Pye Professor of Law. “As the highest ranking advocate for the United States government, Mr. Olson is uniquely positioned to speak to our graduates about the importance of law, and lawyers, as we face the future.”

Mr. Olson was a partner in the Los Angeles and Washington D.C. law offices of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, where he practiced constitutional, media, commercial and appellate litigation. He briefly left Gibson, Dunn to serve as Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel under President Reagan.

Mr. Olson has argued 34 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, 14 while in private practice and 20 while serving in government, on a wide range of constitutional and federal statutory issues including, most recently, the constitutionality of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law. Before rejoining the Justice Department in 2001, he successfully represented George W. Bush and Dick Cheney in the Supreme Court Bush v. Gore cases involving the 2000 presidential election.

Born in Chicago, Mr. Olson attended public schools in California. He earned his bachelor’s degree cum laude from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, with honors in both journalism and forensics. He received his law degree from the University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall), where he was a member of the California Law Review and Order of the Coif.