Lawyers were at the forefront of the birth and formation of our nation and democracy. At every crisis and crossroad in our country’s history, lawyers have been instrumental in establishing the laws and maintaining our civil stability.
Today, as our nation confronts new and difficult issues, lawyers help lead our society towards resolution. In the future, when our country’s ideals or values are put to the test, it will be lawyers who ensure the continued stability of our democracy.
The United States of America is the greatest country in the world, due in large part to the rule of law. And I believe the practice of law is the greatest profession in the world. But with this great calling come great responsibilities.
The profession of law demands that we lawyers apply fundamental values such as personal integrity, uncompromising ethics, moral purpose, and strict adherence to both formal and informal codes of conduct written by our peers and rightly expected by our colleagues every day. These requirements apply to not only the practice of law, but also to the preservation of the rule of law.
As humans, at times we each fall short of meeting these values. But as we have done in the past, working together to preserve an environment that respects differences of opinions and promotes healthy and spirited debate, even with all of our personal imperfections, we lawyers must continue to fulfill the obligations bestowed upon our profession.
So while we can justly celebrate our past accomplishments, let us continue to strive each day to improve ourselves, both individually and as a profession. Let us not rest on our laurels, but instead embrace and embody the unique tools of authority and empowerment granted to us by virtue of our law license to discharge the responsibilities which inhere in such a noble calling. We owe this to our clients, our colleagues and our country.