University of New Hampshire

School of Law

School of Law

Prop. 8 Attorneys Boies, Olson to Speak at UNH Law Commencement

Famed attorneys David Boies and Theodore Olson will be the speakers at the University of New Hampshire School of Law’s 38th annual commencement on May 18.

The lawyers, who famously faced off in the 2000 election case Bush v. Gore, appeared together before the U.S. Supreme Court this spring to argue in favor of same-sex marriage in the landmark case Hollingsworth v. Perry.

Boies and Olson have both been listed by Time magazine as being among the 100 most influential people in the world. Boies, the chairman of Boies, Schiller and Flexner LLP, and Olson, a partner in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s Washington, D.C., office, are known for their high-profile work. Boies served as a special trial counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice in its antitrust suit against Microsoft in 1998-2000. Olson served as solicitor general of the United States from 2001-04.

Boies and Olson visited UNH Law in 2011 as co-chairs of a national hearing, hosted by the law school, on the preservation of the justice system, as part of an American Bar Association initiative to draw attention to the under-funding of courts across the United States.

In addition to giving the commencement address at this year’s ceremony, Boies and Olson will receive honorary degrees at the ceremony. UNH Law will also award three other honorary degrees: to Judge Arthur Gajarsa, retired from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, former NH Governor John Lynch, and, posthumously, to the late Senator Warren Rudman.

Prior to his appointment to the federal court by President Clinton in 1997, Gajarsa was a patent examiner with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, worked as an attorney in the Department of Defense specializing in defense systems analysis and intellectual property rights, and served as special counsel and assistant to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior. Gajarsa currently serves as UNH Law’s first Distinguished Jurist-in-Residence at the school’s Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property.

Lynch is the state’s 80th governor and the most popular in its history. Before serving four terms in office, he was the director of admissions at Harvard Business School; president of The Lynch Group, a business-consulting firm in Manchester; CEO of Knoll Inc., a national furniture manufacturer; and chairman of the University System of New Hampshire Board of Trustees.

Rudman, the centrist Republican and former senator from New Hampshire, was known for his bluntness, bipartisanship and willingness to tackle tough issues, such as the national debt. Before his death in 2012, he worked with UNH Law to create its Warren B. Rudman Center for Justice, Leadership and Public Policy, which aims to further Rudman’s legacy of public service by training a new generation of leaders. 

UNH Law's commencement ceremony will be held Saturday, May 18, at 2:30 p.m. in White Park.