In January, when Elena Kagan ’81 was selected as the U.S. solicitor general by President Barack Obama, she said that she was "honored and grateful, awestruck and excited" -- an understandable reaction to taking on the responisbility of arguing on the government's behalf in U.S. Supreme Court cases. Last week, Kagan was confirmed by the U.S. Senate and became the first woman in American history to serve as solicitor general.

Kagan, nominated for Tiger of the Week by a proud Princeton classmate, left another prestigious post to join the Department of Justice. She had been dean of Harvard Law School (also the first woman in that job). In 2007, she told PAW that her career had been largely uncharted, making stops in academia, government, and the federal judiciary. "The most fun things that happen to you in your career happen as a result of serendipity," she said. "If you plan too much, when they happen to you, you might be afraid to grab them."

(Photo courtesy Harvard Law School)

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