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Northeastern University School of Law Commencement Address Given by Richard W. Painter
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Richard Painter

Summary: Northeastern University School of Law will hear from former chief White House ethics lawyer Richard W. Painter during the graduation ceremony.

Northeastern University School of Law’s graduation ceremony is Thursday at Matthews Arena. Giving the commencement address will be former chief White House ethics lawyer Richard W. Painter, according to a school announcement.


Painter was with the White House under then-President George W. Bush. Painter, a leading advocate for strict enforcement of federal anti-corruption laws and regulations, was associate counsel to the president from February 2005 to July 2007. In this role, his responsibilities included leading the ethics office of the White House and ethics screening of Supreme Court nominees.

Painter now works as a faculty member for the University of Minnesota Law School, where he is the S. Walter Richey Professor of Corporate Law. His courses include government ethics, professional responsibility, and securities litigation. He has also been a faculty member at the University of Oregon School of Law and University of Illinois College of Law.

Painter also serves as a board member and vice chair for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. The non-partisan organization fights corruption from big money influencing government and ensures public officials are held accountable for illegal and unethical conduct. He is a member of the American Law Institute and the American Bar Association and a founding board member of a campaign finance reform organization called Take Back our Republic.

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Law School Dean Jeremy Paul said, “Preserving the rule of law and promoting ethical government are among the paramount challenges facing our profession and our country. Professor Painter’s sterling academic and professional career, including his service as a reporter for the American Law Institute’s Principles of Government Ethics, demonstrate his capacity for and commitment to combating corruption. Northeastern is proud to welcome him to address the class of 2018.”

He now appears on national networks like CNN, NPR, MSNBC, and more. He also writes op-eds that appear in The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times. He has written three books and two casebooks.

Painter, who has a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College, started his legal career with a J.D. from Yale Law School. From there he clerked for Judge John T. Noonan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and worked for law firms in New York City and Connecticut.

Is there someone you would really like to see speak at a graduation ceremony? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about who other law schools have given commencement speeches, read these articles:




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