President of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) Vincentian Justice Adrian Saunders has implored five young lawyers who were recently called to the Bar to be mindful of their reputation as it is of chief importance to their career.
Justice Saunders’ advice came on November 27th as he addressed the ceremony held here for the five young lawyers to be admitted to practise at the local Bar.
The young lawyers who were called to the Bar were: Amanda DeFreitas, Nakita Charles, Chante Melville, Andrew Odle and Chelsea Alexander
“There is only one central idea, one word of advice, that I wish to leave with you.
It is this. I ask of you that you build up your greatest asset. What is that asset? It is not your amazing verbal skills or your outstanding scholastic ability or your social connections. No, your most treasured asset is your reputation,” Justice Saunders told the young lawyers.
The Vincentian jurist further stated: “How will your colleagues, your clients, the judges before whom you appear regard you? Would they think you are serious about your profession? That you are honest? That they can rely on your word? That you keep your promise? Will you be regarded as one who is genuinely concerned about helping your client to resolve their dispute or as one solely interested in securing fees from them? At the end of the day it is your reputation that counts, that matters most. Take care to preserve and nurture it.”
Justice Saunders told the young lawyers that in being called to the Bar they all achieved a noble goal and fulfilled their dreams thereby making their parents and loved ones justly proud. He said it was truly a memorable occasion and he too was happy for them because, as a former law student, he could recall only too well the sleepless nights during the years of study.
“The frustrations and privations of student life are still indelibly etched in my memory. But you persevered and now you are done. And I am happy for you,’ Justice Saunders said.
“It is, though, one of the ironies of life that, just when you think you have come to the end of a testing journey, even as you celebrate having arrived at safe harbour, at precisely that time you realize that you are about to embark upon another voyage. Yesterday you were at the top of a learning curve. You were basking in the completion of the transition from student to proud graduate. Suddenly, today you are again at the bottom of the curve. You are the most inexperienced lawyers in the whole of St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” the CCJ president stated.
Justice Saunders told the young lawyers that one chapter of your lives has ended and they were about to enter a new one but they must have faith on their new journey.
“The same resilience and fortitude that carried you through your student years will also take you through this chapter,” he told them.
Justice Saunders wished the young lawyers the very best in their respective careers.