One hundred and thirty Miami Law graduates raised their right hands in front of friends, family, and faculty, swearing to "never reject, from any consideration personal to myself, the cause of the defenseless or oppressed, or delay anyone’s cause for lucre or malice."
Those who took the oath had passed the Florida Bar exam taken in July. Florida Supreme Court Justice R. Fred Lewis, J.D.’72, led the swearing-in ceremony and offered the newly minted attorneys some sage advice.
"You don’t have to be an ass to be a good lawyer," said Justice Lewis. "Shall I repeat it? We become so driven that we forget how to be a good person. Try to be the best lawyer you can be – people don’t want to deal with nasty, mean folks. You can be the nice and decent person your family raised you to be."
Justice Lewis urged the new lawyers to not lose sight of those who helped them along the way.
"There is one thing I want you to never, ever, ever forget," he said. "None of us is an island unto ourselves. You are here tonight because there is someone that made a difference in your life; that helped you get through this process of education, of becoming a lawyer, and now they are here to share your joy.
"You have a dean that cares more about your success than any dean I’ve run into in this country," he said. "All of your successes are our successes."
When Judge Lewis was a student at Miami Law, he was a member of the University of Miami Law Review and an officer of the Student Bar Association. Additionally, he was inducted into the Iron Arrow honor society, the highest honor of the University of Miami, and was awarded membership into the Bar and Gavel, and Order of Barristers.
"Congratulations to all of our successful bar applicants and graduates," Dean Patricia D. White said. "It’s been a long road but they all did it and we are all just so pleased for you and proud."
The celebration was held Tuesday, September 24th at Gusman Hall and a boisterous reception followed on the Bricks for over 300 attendees.