NYU Law’s Order of the Coif chapter welcomes graduating student members and honorary inductee Judge Raymond Lohier ’91

The NYU Law chapter of the Order of the Coif, a national honor society of law students whose GPAs place them in the top 10 percent of their graduating class, inducted 30 provisional candidates at its annual ceremony on April 25. Each spoke about their favorite NYU Law activities and thanked those who helped them on their path to a JD degree.

Raymond Lohier at lectern
Raymond Lohier '91

This year’s honorary inductee was Judge Raymond Lohier ’91 of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Introducing him, Dean Troy McKenzie ’00 recalled a story from Lohier’s days as a senior trial attorney in the US Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. When deciding whether to charge a potential defendant, McKenzie recounted, Lohier would apply what he had learned from the late philosopher John Rawls as a Harvard undergraduate and from the late Ronald Dworkin as a JD student: Take an opposing argument, make it stronger, and attempt to argue against the more formidable version. “If he couldn’t respond to that version [of the defense's argument]…then he would not proceed with charges,” said McKenzie.

“That struck me as an example of who he is, someone who is not only extraordinarily intelligent and fair minded, but who brings together a true understanding of the intellectual aspect of the law and the moral aspect of the law as well,” the dean said.

Thanking McKenzie, Lohier then directed his remarks to the provisional candidates, noting that ultimately the keys to success go beyond academic honors. “Wherever you’re headed next fall, you’re going to be surrounded by very, very smart people,” he said, adding, “You’ll very rarely, if ever, have an opportunity to dazzle your supervisors or your clients or the public with your wisdom or your intellect…. Instead, over time, I think that what you’ll find is that your values, your reputation for integrity and honesty, your willingness to think for yourself, and your ability to communicate and listen clearly and across differences is going to count for a lot more than your transcript.”

Posted June 11, 2024