University of New Hampshire

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School of Law
Solicitor General to Speak at UNH Law Commencement

Solicitor General to Speak at UNH Law Commencement

Verrilli to Join Sen. Bob Dole and Judge Jonathan Lippman in Receiving Honorary Degrees

Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., Solicitor General of the United StatesDonald B. Verrilli, Jr., Solicitor General of the United States, will be the speaker at the University of New Hampshire School of Law’s 39th annual commencement on May 17.

Verrilli has served as the 46th Solicitor General since President Obama nominated him to succeed Elena Kagan after she joined the Supreme Court in 2011. During his tenure as Solicitor General, Verrilli has argued for the United States in National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebelius, Arizona v. United States, United States v. Windsor, and numerous other important cases. 

Verrilli previously served as Deputy Counsel to President Obama and as an Associate Deputy Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice. Prior to his government service, he was a partner for many years in Jenner & Block, and co-chaired the firm’s Supreme Court practice. He also taught First Amendment law as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law School from 1992 through 2008.

Verrilli received his undergraduate degree from Yale University and his JD from Columbia Law School, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Columbia Law Review

In addition to giving the commencement address at this year’s ceremony, Verrilli will receive an honorary degree at the ceremony. UNH Law will also award two other honorary degrees to US Senator Bob Dole and to the Honorable Jonathan Lippman, Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals.

A renowned statesman who spent over 35 years in Congress, Bob Dole was first elected to Congress from his home state of Kansas in 1960 and to the U.S. Senate in 1968. He served as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee from 1981-1985. Elected senate majority leader in 1984, Dole holds the record as the nation’s longest serving Republican leader.

He was the Republican nominee in the 1996 U.S. Presidential election and the Republican vice-presidential nominee in the 1976 U.S. Presidential election. Dole currently serves as special counsel at the Washington, D.C. law firm of Alston & Bird. He is married to former cabinet member and former U.S. Senator Elizabeth Hanford Dole of North Carolina.

Dole has recently been working to establish the Robert J. Dole Veteran Fellowship at UNH Law’s Warren B. Rudman Center for Justice, Leadership and Public Policy. It will fund the legal education of veterans committed to public service.

Jonathan Lippman's career in the court system has spanned four decades. He was first appointed to the bench in 1995, by Governor George Pataki, as Judge of the New York Court of Claims. He was appointed Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals by Governor David A. Paterson in January 2009.

He has played a central role in many far-reaching reforms of the judiciary and legal profession and lectures frequently in New York and around the country on access to justice and judicial branch leadership and innovation.

UNH Law's commencement ceremony will be held Saturday, May 17, at 2:30 p.m. in White Park. Read more details here.

A Conversation with Solicitor General Verrilli