Future campus news editor Jacob Batte transcribed John Grisham’s speech from the Robert C. Khayat Law Center dedication that took place on Friday, April 15, 2011.
I am honored to be here today to say a few words about the Law School and about Robert Khayat.
Thirty years ago, Renae and I were married on a Friday afternoon, here in Oxford at the First Baptist Church. After a brief honeymoon, we were back the following Thursday for my law school graduation.
The speaker that day was a retired judge, I can’t recall his name and I don’t recall much of what he said, but the theme of his remarks was that we were not really needed, the profession was overcrowded – too many lawyers, too many law schools.
It seemed like an odd time and place to be dwelling on such an issue. But we had heard it all before. It didn’t really bother us, as we had heard it for three years. We got our diplomas, and we got out of here. The class of ’81 was so bright and so talented. We were exempted from taking the bar exam.
When I left 30 years ago, I did not plan to come back. I could never see myself coming back to law school. The class of ’81, as bright as we were, suffered a casualty rate in excess of 50 percent.