October 01, 2007

Karmeier to preside over law school ceremony

by Pete Rosenbery


Caption follows story

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier will preside over the induction ceremony later this week for first-year students in the Southern Illinois University School of Law.

The event is Friday, Oct. 5, in the Carbondale Civic Center, and is one of several law school events during the weekend — which is also SIUC's Homecoming.

Also scheduled are continuing legal education classes on Saturday, and a fall gathering at the law school at 6 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 6, featuring a photographic career retrospective on long-time law school professor and administrator Wenona Y. Whitfield. Whitfield's 26-year career at the law school began as a 25-year-old student in the law school's second incoming class in 1974. She later became an associate law professor and retired in June as associate dean for academic affairs.

This is the law school's seventh annual induction ceremony. It begins with a reception at 5 p.m. Friday. The ceremony starts at 6 p.m. The event is free, and the public is welcome to attend.

Karmeier will join the 133 first-year students — the class of 2010 — in reciting their declaration of professionalism.

Karmeier was elected to the state's highest court in 2004. The one-time Washington County state's attorney served as resident circuit judge in the 20th Judicial Circuit from 1986 to 2004.

Karmeier earned his bachelor's degree in 1962 and his law degree, in 1964, both from the University of Illinois.

First-year students will recite a "Statement of Professional Commitment," an oath that they draft themselves. The induction ceremony and professionalism pledge are part of a nationally recognized Professional Development Workshop in place at the law school.

Prior to the ceremony, students participate in a series of workshops related to legal ethics and other professionalism issues. The workshops include attorneys and judges discussing with students what it means to be in the profession, expectations and common ethical considerations.

Melissa J. Marlow, a clinical associate professor of law, is among several faculty members and local practitioners who assisted students in drafting their oath. It is a rewarding experience for everyone who participates, Marlow said.

The induction ceremony starts Homecoming weekend festivities for the law school, which include reunions for the graduating classes from 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997 and 2002. The law school will graduate its 33rd class in May 2008.

Among law school graduates expected to attend the induction ceremony are appellate court justices William E. Holdridge, Sue E. Myerscough, Bruce D. Stewart and James M. Wexstten.

There are also numerous continuing legal education credit courses available for Illinois attorneys from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 6. This is the first year the courses have been offered as part of Homecoming activities. More information on the courses is available at http://www.dce.siu.edu/conferences/070826homecoming.htm