Over the last month, I have had the privilege to participate in a number of events involving and honoring some of our newest lawyers, many of them lawyers seeking to hone their leadership skills.
One such event was the State Bar Leadership Summit, held in conjunction with the G. Lane Ware Leadership Academy. Each year, 24 lawyers, nominated by the legal community statewide, attend the summit. Selected participants display leadership capabilities and demonstrate a strong commitment to their communities and to the profession at large.
The Leadership Summit is many things, but most important, it is a means to identify the future leaders of the profession and of the State Bar. It helps keep our profession and our organization strong, engaged, and relevant.
After spending a very enjoyable Saturday with these young lawyers, I left wholly impressed with their skills and their commitment. They all are leaders.
I also recently had the pleasure of attending the Wisconsin Supreme Court admission ceremonies, where our newly graduated and licensed lawyers took their professional oath. Our state’s top court does a wonderful job with this event, which is held in the Supreme Court hearing room. As some of you will remember, the room is filled with the newly admitted lawyers and their proud family members and friends. I thank the Wisconsin Supreme Court for joining the State Bar in hosting such a meaningful event.
Whenever I attend an admissions ceremony, my thoughts drift back to when I took the oath, oh so many years ago now. While many details of that day are waning in my memory, I do remember the understanding that I was entering into a profession that was something much bigger than myself. That truth holds to this day. This fact was not lost on the new lawyers I watched take their oaths a few weeks ago.
During my brief time speaking to them during the ceremony, I underscored the preamble to our Supreme Court Rules, which lists lawyers’ responsibilities, stating in part that “all lawyers should devote professional time and resources and use civic influence to ensure equal access to our system of justice for all.”
In other words, as members of this noble profession, these new lawyers are leaders, and the Wisconsin Supreme Court requires them to lead. It all circles back to leadership. The State Bar is here to provide the tools and support necessary for our new leaders to get to where they need to go. Personally, I can say with confidence that our profession is in good hands.
I was entering into a profession that was something much bigger than myself and my day-to-day concerns.