October 05, 2010

Induction ceremony for law students set for Friday

by Pete Rosenbery

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

The ceremony for 144 members of the Class of 2013 is Friday, Oct. 8, in the Hiram H. Lesar Law Building auditorium at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. The event is one several law school activities during the weekend -- which is SIUC’s Homecoming.

This is the law school’s ninth annual ceremony. It begins with a reception at 5 p.m. The ceremony starts at 6 p.m. The event is free, and the public is welcome to attend. There will also be a live feed in the courtroom and room 102.

Dean Cynthia L. Fountaine, who became the law school’s seventh permanent dean in July, said she is looking forward to participating in her first induction ceremony at the SIU law school. Students participate in drafting their declaration of professionalism, and will recite the class “Statement of Professional Commitment.”

“SIU was the first law school in Illinois to have a program like this for first-year students,” she said. “Once the other schools observed our successful program, all Illinois law schools have now adopted a similar program. I’m very proud of our faculty for their leadership in this area

“Impressing upon our students the importance of professionalism is one of the most significant things we do,” she said. “After a few weeks of discussion about what it means to be a lawyer and what our professional responsibilities are, the students write their own oath, which is then administered at the Induction Ceremony.

“This ceremony gives us a chance to reinforce -- to our students, the profession, the public and ourselves -- how important professionalism is,” Fountaine said.

The Class of 2013 is comprised of students representing 59 undergraduate colleges and universities, and come from 19 states, said Elizabeth O’Neil, director of Alumni Affairs and Annual Giving for the law school. This year’s class includes five legacy students who have a parent who is an SIU School of Law alumnus. One student has a late grandmother and two parents who graduated from the law school.

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.

In addition to Karmeier, Jayne R. Reardon, executive director of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, will also participate in the ceremony. The commission develops and coordinates programs across the state “to increase the professionalism, well-being, and inclusiveness of the bench and bar and to promote the administration of justice,” according to its website.

The induction ceremony starts Homecoming weekend festivities for the law school, which include reunions for the graduating classes from 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000 and 2005. The law school graduates its 36th class in May 2011.

Fountaine will deliver her first “State of the School Address” at 9 a.m. Saturday in the law school’s formal lounge.