Law grads urged to embrace power of their degrees

R

ichard A. Robinson, associate justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court, urged the 87 School of Law graduates to think about the power they will hold as they strive to balance their obligations to clients with their duties as officers of the legal system.

Robinson received an honorary doctor of laws degree May 14 at the Commencement and Doctoral Hooding ceremony in our TD Bank Sports Center. During his address, he said the legal profession is a noble one, but one that is frequently misunderstood.

“Many assume that lawyers are merely troublemakers who bring lawsuits that should not be brought and defend that which should not be defended,” he said. “In reality, the law is the very fabric that holds our society together and, as lawyers, you bear the responsibility of being its tailors.”

Richard A. Robinson, associate justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court, urged graduates to exercise the power of being a lawyer with responsibility during his Commencement address.

Inspiring words

Richard A. Robinson, associate justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court, urged graduates to exercise the power of being a lawyer with responsibility during his Commencement address.

He urged graduates to think a little more about the sources of our hope, encouragement and inspiration — and not just depend on news headlines or tweets.

"When you think about it, doesn't real inspiration come from the people we live with, the people who we work with, and the people who we interact with on a daily basis? People who work hard and do their best to make the world a better place in their own unique way. People who make a commitment to something worthwhile and important, just as all of you have done," he said.

The Connecticut Supreme Court Justice implored graduates to recognize the position they are in.

“As you graduate and prepare to embark on your career in the law, you hold tremendous power,” he said. “On this most important day, I’d like for you to think about that power and to truly comprehend its significance.”

That power extends throughout the legal system — and country, he said.

"It means that as you begin your career in the law, it is essential for you to understand that your obligations as an attorney extend far beyond the interests of your clients," he said. "They extend to the justice system, to the legal profession, and to society at large."

Each graduate has a great responsiblity to our nation, Robinson said. Each member of the Class of 2017 — like those who graduated before them — are the "tailors of the very fabric of our society," he said, and each a hero for their hard work and diligence.

“As you prepare to take the next steps, keep in mind the words of Winston Churchill: ‘The price of greatness is responsibility.’ Or, to paraphrase a certain comic book: ‘With great power comes great responsibility.’ The power to practice law brings not only the financial ability to support yourself and your family; it also brings along with it the responsibility to assist others and to help shape the legal profession of the future,” the justice said.

Ceremony Video

Watch the Law Commencement ceremony

Celebrate the graduates of our School of Law.

Take the Next Step