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Kannon Shanmugam Awarded Honorary Doctor of Law from University of South Carolina

Litigation partner Kannon Shanmugam was presented with an honorary Doctor of Law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law. Honorary degrees are the most significant recognition conferred by the university’s board of trustees, signaling exceptional professional and legal acumen practicing law before the highest U.S. courts, pro bono service on behalf of cases at the heart of judicial fairness, and a stalwart commitment to the ideals of jurisprudence.

In the virtual commencement speech, Kannon advised graduates not to think of their careers as a linear ladder, but rather as a rock climbing wall in which there are various paths to one’s intended destination. “Always bet on yourself, and don’t be afraid to go against the grain,” Kannon advised. “The obvious choice is not always the right one.”

Kannon also reminded graduates that “hard work is what distinguishes the merely good lawyers from the truly great ones.” Intelligence or experience alone are not enough—especially in a profession populated by very intelligent and experienced practitioners. “My process for preparing for my 29th Supreme Court argument this fall will look much the same as my process preparing for my first argument… with a lot of late nights and weekends,” Kannon observed.

» watch the speech

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