You see them walking through the hallways, white knuckles tight around Starbuck's cups, balancing files and cellphones, somewhat lost, very confused, their new suits conspicuous in a hallway filed with cheap ones.
We are talking about the new ASAs and PDs who have started their training.
You are entering a profession in which you can do great things. As a prosecutor you will have the opportunity to protect your community and give victim's a voice. As a PD you might just literally save someone's life. It's a wondrous journey you are embarking on.
Most of you will do two or three years here and move on. The economics of family and school loans will require it. Some of you will make criminal law your career. A few of you will make this building and the glorious people who inhabit it your life. You may find love here, although lust is always around the next corner. You will make many friends here. The best friends we have were the people we met during those first few years. We survived a trial by fire, and we became close, and although there is a physical distance between us, that closeness survives. We can call on anyone of them and ask them to meet us five thousand miles away, and know they will be there if we need them to.
There is so much we can tell you. But why ruin the movie? It's more fun and it's infinitely more valuable if you find out on your own.
So we will leave you with one piece of advice. It's advice we give all new lawyers. And it's easy for us to see who follows that advice and who does not.
So listen closely and take heed. Put down the double latte and stop texting, tweeting, and facebooking and instagraming for one damn minute and listen up:
It will take you a lifetime to build your reputation as a lawyer.
And one minute to destroy it.
No case is worth breaking your word.
No case is worth your career.
No case is worth your reputation.
Now go forth and do great things.
See you in court.
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