State's chief judge reminds incoming law students to be professional

State's chief judge reminds incoming law students to be professional

CHAMPAIGN — The chief judge of the Illinois Supreme Court took time out of a busy schedule Thursday to gavel home the importance of civility to the newest class of aspiring attorneys at the University of Illinois College of Law.

Rita Garman of Danville — Illinois' second-longest-serving judge with 41 years on the bench and the state's longest serving woman judge — reminded the approximately 160 incoming students of a few of the specifics of the rules of professional conduct.

The respected veteran jurist, wife, mother and grandmother also doled out advice in terms everyone can understand:

— Be prepared for class.

— Guard your reputation since your law school persona will follow you into your professional career.

— Practice civility in the classroom, the common areas and in emails.

— Treat others as you wish to be treated; be nice to the support staff.

— Don't be a jerk. When a lawyer is uncivil, it reflects not only on him individually but the profession as a whole.

Garman is one of several Supreme and Appellate Court justices making the rounds of the state's nine law schools during their orientations to talk about and administer the "pledge of professionalism."

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