Spring 2015 Law Clinic Interns Sworn In

Photograph Spring 2015 Clinic Interns

Kansas Court of Appeals Judge Kim R. Schroeder, '82, presided over the Swearing In Ceremony for Washburn Law Clinic's spring interns in the Robinson Courtroom. Twenty-four students, all of whom are in their third year of law school, participated in the ceremony by taking an oath and receiving their license to practice in the clinic.

Clinic interns and guests were greeted by Professor John Francis, interim co-director of Washburn Law Clinic. He called the swearing in the “ceremonial beginning” of their law career as practitioners., whereas their law career began in an academic sense when they started law school.

“Rule 719 gives students the opportunity to really work on their lawyering skills and develop those skills in a very protective environment,” said Francis. “One of the greater aspects is that it gives you the opportunity to use the power that we as lawyers wield, to help people.” He pointed out that helping people is really what the duty of lawyers has been for centuries.

“We hope that you develop the habit and methods of pursuing your career in a way that helps you become the voice and the resource for people without a voice or resources,” Francis said. “You then become the way that people gain access to the courts, gain access to legal remedies, and create their dream of owning a business or starting a non-profit.” He encouraged the students to embrace that aspect of lawyering and take every opportunity to learn from experiences at Washburn Law and to learn from each other as well.

Judge Schroeder shared the advice that was passed on from one of his professors at Washburn Law. “Law school is like a glass of wine—sip it. Don’t try to drink it all at once!” He offered several other bits of wisdom to the interns: don’t hesitate to ask questions; don’t tell your clients that you know all the answers, because you won’t; clients won’t always pay; and take time to clarify the issues, even if they seem small.

“When you eventually take the oath to practice law and get your license, remember, it’s YOUR license, protect it,” emphasized Schroeder. “Don’t let the emotions of the issue be transferred from your client to you; you have to remain independent.” He finished by encouraging the students that as they become lawyers, be proud of that fact, and use the skills and training they receive to help people improve their lives.