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O Happy Day

The people who passed the February 2010 Virginia bar exam are now lawyers.

The Virginia State Bar held its Admission and Orientation ceremony yesterday at the Richmond Convention Center. The seven justices of the Supreme Court of Virginia were there; the spring and fall admission ceremonies are the only times that the court meets outside its home on Ninth Street all year.

If you go to an A&O ceremony, you’ll feel a wonderful energy and a sense of satisfaction filling a very large room. The attendees made it across one finish line and are starting a new and different race. Lots of families are there too — proud spouses, proud parents, kids who don’t quite know what’s going on, only that Mom or Dad is really, really happy.

I’ve been serving as the sponsor for the Washington & Lee law school graduates at the spring ceremony for about seven or eight years now. To appear before the high court while welcoming fellow W&L grads to the bar is one of my favorite tasks. I never fail to flash back to a fall day in 1985 at the grand ballroom at the old John Marshall Hotel. Ponder a minute, and I’m sure your own swearing-in day will float back from memory, whether it was in the Supreme Court Building, the John Marshall, the Richmond Marriott or the Convention Center. A pretty good day, wasn’t it?

To the crowd yesterday: Well done, and cheers!

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