Swearing-In for New Vermont Lawyers

Welcome new admittees to the Vermont Bar! Although the annual swearing-in ceremony wasn’t able to be held in-person this year, the Vermont Supreme Court recently conducted a virtual swearing-in for over 100 proud new admittees to the Vermont Bar. The ceremony began with Board of Bar Examiner Chair Keith Kasper moving the admission of the admittees. Chief Justice Paul Reiber granted the motion and proceeded to virtually administer the Oath for Admission to the Bar to the admittees. 

Following the oath, Justice Harold Eaton gave eloquent remarks, noting the unusual times during which the admittees were entering the profession. “As new lawyers, you are entering the profession at a time unlike any other. This is a period of great challenge, great change and great adaptation in the world and in our profession. As attorneys, it is up to us to meet those challenges and make the changes and adaptations necessary to protect and preserve the rule of law and the system of justice which is built upon it. It is a heavy responsibility, but I know that you will each do your part.”

Offering insights occasioned by his being a member of the Vermont bar for over 40 years, Justice Eaton noted the opportunities that lawyers in Vermont have to make real contributions in their communities, the importance of learning from their experiences while adhering to the Guidelines of Professional Courtesy, and to learn to “win with humility and to lose with grace.”  Acknowledging the many demands placed upon a lawyer, especially in this age of electronic accessibility, he stressed the importance of attorney wellness and reaching out for help when needed. Justice Eaton concluded by quoting “A Commencement for Scoundrels” by Samuel Hazo:

I wish you what I wish

myself: hard questions

and the nights to answer them,

the grace of disappointment

and the right to seem the fool

for justice. That’s enough.

Cowards might ask for more.

Heroes have died for less.

Justice Eaton then introduced VBA Executive Director Teri Corsones, who encouraged the new admittees to take full advantage of the many opportunities to get involved in the bar, including the many low bono and pro bono programs offered through the VBA. She offered to mail the VBA materials normally provided in person at the swearing-in ceremonies, including the “On Your Own” booklets published by the Young Lawyers Division, the Pocket Constitutions distributed to Vermont school and civic groups, and the VBA LRS and legal help information cards distributed to state courthouses, public libraries and veterans’ centers throughout Vermont. Citing the VBA motto “Serving the Public and the Profession,” she noted how proud the VBA is to welcome the newest Vermont lawyers into that service.

For the full text of Justice Eaton’s remarks, click HERE.