October 06, 2008

Justice Karmeier to lead lawyer induction

by Pete Rosenbery

lloyd a

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

The event is Friday, Oct. 10, in the Carbondale Civic Center, and is one of several law school events during the weekend -- which is SIUC’s Homecoming.

For a second year, several continuing legal education credit courses available for Illinois attorneys are set at the law school from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 11.

This is the law school’s eighth 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.

The ceremony recognizes students becoming part of the legal profession, Dean Peter C. Alexander said.

“We conduct induction ceremonies as a reminder to them that their obligations to the public and profession begin well before they receive a law license,” Alexander said. “This ceremony is one of the highlights of the first-year professional development workshop series and I’m honored to preside over it.”

Karmeier will join the 108 first-year students -- the class of 2011 -- in reciting their declaration of professionalism.

Elected to the state’s highest court in 2004, Karmeier, a 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 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 included attorneys and judges discussing with students what it means to be in the profession, expectations and common ethical considerations.

Melissa J. Marlow, an associate clinical professor of law, chairs the law school’s Professional Development Committee. One part of the committee’s charge is assisting the first-year class in drafting the Statement of Professional Commitment.

“In drafting their statement, the students reflect on the values and responsibilities of the legal

profession,” Marlow said. “The induction ceremony itself formally recognizes their transition from undergraduate student to lawyer in training. The faculty, judges and practicing attorneys who facilitate with the drafting exercise get a chance to share their perspectives with the students on what it means to be an ethical and competent attorney.”

The induction ceremony starts Homecoming weekend festivities for the law school, which include reunions for the graduating classes from 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1998 and 2003. The law school graduates its 34th class in May 2009.

At 9 a.m. Saturday, Alexander delivers a “State of the School Address,” at the law school.

Workshop topics with the continuing legal education program include “Surrogate Decisions for Adults in Illinois,” “Update on Current Cases in Medical Law,” “Immigration Law Basics,” “Practical Electronic Legal Research” and “Charitable Giving Through Planned Giving.” More information on these courses is available at https://www.dce.siu.edu/index.php/Conferences/2008-Homecoming-CLE-a-la-carte