Law school commencement speakers often provide career advice to budding professionals, but it’s not every day that a sitting Supreme Court justice delivers those lessons with a pop culture coating.
Addressing American University law grads over the weekend, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson confessed her long-standing Survivor fandom, revealing that she’s watched 42 seasons of the show. We’re in the middle of the 44th season right now… it’s not clear what she’s missed.
But she’s learned a lot over those seasons and found a lot of lawyerly wisdom buried on the beach. Though some of it seems to speak specifically to her life on the Supreme Court:
“My advice to you is to do your best to shut out distractions, use your time wisely, and figure out how to make the most of what you have,” Jackson said. “Season after season, the players who tend to do really well are those who appear to come in with the understanding that this game is about existing both in community and conflict.”
Not everything matches up perfectly with Survivor though. One of the iconic elements of a Survivor season is the week where a lucky contestant gets to treat another tribal council member to a day trip where they can live in luxury for a bit and exert a little subtle influence before the guest casts a vote to kick someone off the island.
And obviously nothing like that could happen at the Supreme Court.
Joe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.