Pursue your dreams, but don’t neglect the people who made them possible, law enforcement leader William “Bill” Bratton and his wife, television personality and trial attorney Rikki Klieman, told Suffolk University Law School graduates as they addressed commencement exercises on Sunday, May 22, 2011, at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

Klieman talked of embracing her mother’s conviction that what determines success in life is “ten percent fact and circumstance and ninety percent attitude.” In terms of attitude, she urged the graduates to do “what really makes your heart sing,” but “maintain your true self … your integrity, dignity and self-respect.”

Bratton quoted Ghandi as saying that “to create change, you must become change.” He spoke of Suffolk University’s origins more than 100 years ago as a school offering opportunity to students not welcomed elsewhere.

“The education you have received … is without equal because this school is dedicated to equality,” he said. “As you go forward, seek to make a world without discrimination. … you can create change in the world that is meaningful and profound.”

Suffolk University honored Bratton and Klieman with honorary Doctor of Laws degrees.

Acting President and Provost Barry Brown advised graduates to “take the dreams that you have first imagined at Suffolk and wrap them in the wonderful values and character that each of you possesses.”

Honorary Degrees

The Law School awarded the following honorary degrees:

• Bratton, a security expert who has led the nation’s largest police departments, honorary Doctor of Laws
• Klieman, television personality and trial attorney, honorary Doctor of Laws
• David Z. Chesnoff, Esquire, Goodman and Chesnoff, honorary Doctor of Laws
• The Honorable John E. Fenton, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Law and former dean of Suffolk Law School, retired Chief Administrative Justice of the Massachusetts Trial Court, honorary Doctor of Laws
• The Honorable Therese Murray, president of the Senate of the Commonwealth, honorary Doctor of Laws

The College of Arts and Sciences and Sawyer Business School awarded the following honorary degrees at the afternoon undergraduate commencement exercises:

• Jeff Glor, news anchor for "The Early Show" on CBS, honorary Doctor of Journalism. Glor spoke at the afternoon exercises.
• Peter H. Smyth, chairman and chief executive officer of Greater Media, Inc., honorary Doctor of Commerce
• Joaquín Almunia, a vice president of the European Commission, the EU Executive branch, honorary Doctor of Economics
• Joseph Corcoran, chairman, Corcoran Jennison Companies, honorary Doctor of Business Administration
• Jeanette G. Clough, president and CEO, Mount Auburn Hospital, honorary Doctor of Business Administration
• Marshall M. Sloane, chairman of the board, Century Bank, honorary Doctor of Business Administration

About the speakers

Attorney Rikki Klieman’s broad range of experience has involved her in television journalism, the courtroom, academia, and public speaking.

Klieman, who was named one of the five most outstanding women trial lawyers in the country by TIME magazine, established Klieman & Lyons in Boston with Stephen Lyons in 1980. Klieman remains of counsel to the firm, where she specialized in criminal trial, appellate practice, and civil litigation.

Before she launched her legal career, Klieman was a professional actress, and the combination of her performance skills and legal expertise has made her an invaluable radio and television interview resource. She has been an anchor at the Courtroom Television Network and a legal analyst for the CBS “Early Show,” the NBC “Today Show,” and the E! Network. She has discussed various aspects of criminal and civil law and procedure on programs such as “60 minutes,” “20/20,” “The McLaughlin Group,” and a “Nightline Special Report” on rape hosted by Peter Jennings.

Klieman has been an adjunct faculty member at both Columbia Law School and Boston University School of Law. She has taught trial advocacy at the Intensive Trial Advocacy Program at Harvard, the University of Virginia Trial Advocacy Institute, Northwestern University’s Short Course for Criminal Defense Lawyers, the National Criminal Defense College, the Western Trial Advocacy Institute and Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College.

Klieman’s autobiography, Fairy Tales Can Come True – How a Driven Woman Changed Her Destiny, reached the Los Angeles Times Bestseller List. She also has published many articles on criminal law and contributed to the book Women Trial Lawyers. She was featured in a chapter of Good Will Toward Men by Jack Kammer and in the national best-seller, A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr. She writes the biannual supplement for Representing Witnesses Before Federal Grand Juries. She was the co-editor of a book on cross-examination called Take the Witness. In addition, she wrote a column about legal issues for the popular LA Confidential Magazine.

Klieman received a BS from Northwestern University and a JD from Boston University School of Law.
International security specialist William J. “Bill” Bratton made a reputation for reducing crime when he served as chief of the Los Angeles Police and commissioner of the New York and Boston police departments. He now is the chairman of Kroll, a division of the private international security firm, Altegrity, Inc.

Bratton began his law enforcement career as an officer with the Boston Police force after serving with the Army in Vietnam. During the next 10 years he rose through the ranks to superintendent and later became commissioner. He also led the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Police, the Massachusetts Metropolitan District Commission Police, the New York City Transit Police, and the two largest police forces in the United States: the NYPD and the LAPD.

His leadership is distinguished by attention to police morale and significant crime reduction through initiatives such as community policing. In New York, he led the development and deployment of CompStat, which employs real-time intelligence, rapid deployment, and relentless follow-up and accountability systems to focus the work of police on stopping crimes before they happen. In Los Angeles, he worked to improve strained relationships with the city’s diverse communities.

As chairman of Kroll, Bratton recently took on the high-profile task of evaluating the Los Angeles Dodgers security and fan services. His work in private security began in an interlude before he became LAPD chief, when he formed The Bratton Group LLC, consulting on safety and security on four continents.

Bratton, author of the critically acclaimed autobiography Turnaround, is a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council. Security magazine has twice named him one of the most influential people in the security industry. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II recognized Bratton in 2009 with the honorary title of Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE).

He holds a BS from Boston State College and is a graduate of the FBI National Executive Institute and the Senior Executive Fellows Program at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.


• College of Arts and Sciences bachelor’s degree candidates: 782
• College master’s degree and doctoral candidates: 276
• Sawyer Business School bachelor’s degree candidates: 521
• Business School master’s degree candidates: 410
• Law School: 450 juris doctor, 15 master of laws degrees