When I speak to law students, I often say that the beginning date of one’s legal career is the first day of law school. I believe that’s true because that’s the date when a lawyer begins to build a professional reputation. But, of course, the most important date in any lawyer’s career is the date they take the Oath of Admission—the date when brand new lawyers swear to conduct their personal and professional lives by a set of ethical principles. For the great majority of us in this profession, the success of a lawyer’s career is still measured by how well they meet the standards of the oath over the course of a lifetime.
Membership in the legal profession still comes with a unique set of responsibilities and privileges, and if these are ever abused, damage is done to both the individual lawyer and to our system of justice. That is why promoting the professionalism and ethics of every lawyer practicing in Florida is one of the priorities of my presidency.