May 10, 2012

Arizona Republic reports on O’Connor's convocation speech

Posted: May 10, 2012
Sandra Day O'Connor

An article in the May 8 Arizona Republic reported on U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s speech at the College of Law’s convocation on May 3.

O’Connor told the graduates not to be discouraged if they haven’t received the job offer they want. She reminded them that the only job offer she got after graduation was that as a legal secretary, the article said.

“If your career path is at all like mine… you won’t be starting at the top of the ladder,” O’Connor said.

She said first jobs aren’t as crucial as developing the right work habits.

“I always did the best I could with what I had,” O’Connor said. “Devotion to excellence in all things…can have its rewards.”

O’Connor also attributed her professional success to being in the right place at the right time.

“The real question is ‘How do you get to be in the right place at the right time?’ The only things we can control are the quality and seriousness of our work every step of the way,” she said.

To read the article, click here.

O’Connor was nominated to be the first woman on the country’s highest court by President Ronald Reagan. She served from Sept. 25, 1981, until her retirement on Jan. 31, 2006, and during that time was often a crucial deciding vote in 5-4 decisions on some of the most controversial issues of our time. In March 2006, the College of Law was renamed in her honor, and she often speaks and teaches there.

Meghan McCarthy, mcmccar3@asu.edu
Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law