Boston University School of Law

July 5, 2007


Attorney General Martha Coakley ('79) Delivers 2007 Commencement Speech

As a Boston University School of Law Graduate with over 20 years spent dedicated to a career in public service, most would agree that Attorney General Martha Coakley (‘79) is more than qualified to administer advice. At the BU Law Commencement, held on May 20th, General Coakley did just this, delivering her variation of rules to follow as graduates embark on their long-awaited careers and begin life outside the University.

In her commencement speech, entitled "ABC's for the Law School Graduate," Attorney General Coakley addressed the concerns many recent graduates may feel, presenting sound, and still humorous, advice on how to handle life.

"F is for facts and for getting them right," Coakley said. "Facts matter. Fact finding matters. In history, law and sciences, all wise courses of action begin with knowing the facts. This is particularly true for lawyers. Play fast and loose with the facts and you may as well set that diploma on fire and find another profession."

General Coakley, a speaker at her own graduation nearly thirty years earlier, made note of the changed world we live in now, making special reference to global warming and activism, and reminded the audience that staying involved was key to staying young. "Participate in this imperfect and extraordinary experiment in democracy that we call the United States," General Coakley advised. "Whether you're involved with your school committee, PTA or the presidency, care about your city, your community and your country."

General Coakley joined the Middlesex District Attorney's Office in 1986 after time spent in the Boston law firms of Parker, Coulter, Daley & White and Goodwin Procter. In 1989 she was appointed the chief of the Child Abuse Prosecution Unit and in 1998 was elected Middlesex district attorney. After serving two terms in the position, General Coakley was sworn in in January 2007 as Massachusetts' first female attorney general.

>>View Commencement 2007 Photo Flipbook and Recaps

Reported by Sara Gelston