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Alumni meet with Supreme Court justice

Alumni meet with Supreme Court justice

Mary McCarty March 21, 2017

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan met with 26 Dayton Law alumni and family members March 6, before they were sworn in to the Bar of the United States Supreme Court.

University law school Dean Andrew Strauss introduced Justice Kagan — his friend and classmate since their undergraduate years at Princeton University — at a breakfast in the Chief Justices Room before the swearing-in. “This is a very meaningful day for our alumni who are being sworn into the Supreme Court Bar and it is truly an honor to have Justice Kagan here to share it with us,” he said.


During her informal conversation with alumni, Justice Kagan described her love for the job. "I try to remember that every day in this job is a privilege," she said. "I never want to forget the privilege and the responsibility that comes with the job."

Dianne Weiskittle ’13 called it a “pinch myself” moment: "I feel so fortunate that Dean Strauss had that connection, so we could have this experience."

Kagan praised the lawyers who argue cases before the Supreme Court. “They are not the kind of lawyers you suffer through,” she said.

She is most impressed with the lawyers who don’t make grand speeches and who aren’t intimidated by the justices: “The thing that makes the great ones is the ability to engage in a conversation with the justices.”

Sutton Smith ’13, staff attorney for the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, said he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to meet Kagan, even though he has a 2-year-old and a newborn. He and his wife Emi traveled to Washington D.C. for the ceremony.

“It was my first visit to the Supreme Court and a cool introduction,” he said. “I thought, ‘I may never get another shot at this. Why not jump in when I can?’”

The next UDSL Supreme Court swearing-in is scheduled for 2019.