September 9, 2013
Justice Kennedy Gives Keynote Address at Capital Law School’s New Student Convocation

Justice Sharon L. Kennedy gave the keynote address at Capital Law School’s new student convocation on August 21.The convocation welcomed the incoming first year law students class of 2016.

“Each of you is dependent on the other and our profession, and its honor is dependent on all of you,” Justice Kennedy told the students. “The nobility of the practice of law does not begin when you pass the bar, when you take your oath upon admission to the practice, or when you retain your first case. It begins today.”

Justice Kennedy spoke about the profession of law and told the students that their personal and educational conduct will be guided by the Capital Law School Honor Codes. “The strength of honor is a test of character,” she said.

“If you have chosen the law as your professional pursuit, then you must, regardless of the consequences, have honor, act in all situations with civility, and extend yourself to serve within your community,” said Justice Kennedy. “Despite the great difficulty you will find in confronting and reporting misconduct, you must.”

She told the new law students that their work will give their clients a voice while helping protect citizens and preserve liberty.

“Your work is vital, but it is meaningless without the preservation of the nobility of our profession,” said Justice Kennedy, “for in that nobility and honor is the foundational trust of the people we serve.”

After her address, Justice Kennedy led the students in the oath of professionalism.

Justice Kennedy is serving her first term on the Supreme Court of Ohio. Prior to joining the Supreme Court, Justice Kennedy served on the Butler County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division from 1999 to 2012. Justice Kennedy served as the administrative judge there from 2005 until December 2012. Justice Kennedy began her career in the justice system as a police officer in Hamilton, Ohio. She received her law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

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