Friday, February 29, 2008
This morning as I was driving into work, the song "How You Live" by Point of Grace was playing on the car radio. A line in the song is (roughly, because I am notorious for being unable to get lyrics perfect): "It's not who you know. It's not what you do. It's how you live." The song is pointing out that ultimately how we live our lives day to day is what is important. Connections, job titles, awards, and honors will not sum up who we are in life. We need to live our lives with honor, integrity, compassion, and humility to be remembered as great people.
The legal profession puts a lot of emphasis on being ethical and having a reputation for honesty and integrity as lawyers. Sometimes, I think we need to remind our students that their reputations start here in law school.
Grade point and activities of an individual will not be the most remembered attributes by classmates when they consider a referral of a client to a prior classmate after graduation. The lawyer making the referral will remember "how the person lived" during law school. Was that classmate honorable at all times? Did that classmate help others who were less brilliant? Was that classmate humble or arrogant over honors and awards? Did that classmate show compassion for the less fortunate in our society?
Our law students will determine how they live in law school and in later practice. However, we can be the models for their lives. We can live and teach and counsel students with honor, integrity, compassion, and humility. We can encourage them to make good choices in how they live. (Amy Jarmon)