June 25th, 2009 | Uncategorized

Koh: ‘I feel like I am setting sail on a thrilling new adventure’

At long last, former Yale Law School Dean Harold Hongju Koh was confirmed this afternoon for the position of legal adviser to the Department of State. Immediately following the vote, Koh sent a message to the Law School community thanking students, faculty members and staff for their support during the confirmation process.

“My job may be changing, but our friendships are enduring,” he wrote. “I feel like I am setting sail on a thrilling new adventure. One former Legal Adviser once described his job as ‘speaking law to power.’ I pledge to you to do my very best to bring the enduring values of our Law School to serve our country in facing its global challenges.”

Koh also praised Acting Dean Kate Stith, whose service he called “heroic,” and his successor, Robert Post LAW ’77, whom Koh said “brings extraordinary personal and scholarly gifts to the position.”

Read his full message after the jump.

My dear friends:

Today marks my last day as Dean of our Law School. Earlier today, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm my nomination as Legal Adviser of the U.S. Department of State. Starting tomorrow, I will assume that position and begin a public service leave from my professorship. I cannot tell you how much the friendship and support of everyone in the Yale Law School family has meant to me these last few months. I could not feel more lucky or grateful.

Next week, my colleague Kate Stith will conclude her heroic service as Acting Dean. She deserves all of our thanks and praise for bringing us so smoothly through this transition. On July 1, my friend Robert Post will become the 16th Dean of Yale Law School. He brings extraordinary personal and scholarly gifts to the position, and he deserves our most enthusiastic support. Thank you for being as generous to him as you have been to me these past five years.

My job may be changing, but our friendships are enduring. I feel like I am setting sail on a thrilling new adventure. One former Legal Adviser once described his job as “speaking law to power.” I pledge to you to do my very best to bring the enduring values of our Law School to serve our country in facing its global challenges.

With so many thanks,

Harold