Justin David Patrick 2015-11-25 16:45:21
Thanks to Chief Justice Hecht, to the justices and judges of the various assembled courts, and to the family and friends of all us baby lawyers who are assembled here today. I’m the guy who doesn’t understand marginal utility. Texas is, as far as I can tell, the only state that maintains the peculiar tradition of ritually sacrificing the top scorer on the bar exam by making him give a speech at the main swearing-in ceremony. I couldn’t really tell you what the hypothesized connection is between “accidentally invented the most plausible explanation of ‘what is a mechanic’s lien’ on the exam” and “good at giving speeches to new lawyers.” As far as I can tell, my main qualification for giving this speech is that I find fear to be an exceptionally powerful academic motivator. So I’ll keep this short and sweet. I would be remiss if I did not thank—from the bottom of my heart—my parents, Joy Segars and Jamin Patrick, for their unwavering love and support, including but not limited to, putting me up for the summer, feeding and watering me, and talking me down from various metaphorical ledges as the exam grew near. Thanks also to my little sister, Emily, who despite being five years younger has consistently been an “older sibling”- type inspiration by dint of the fact that she is objectively better than me at pretty much everything. Thanks are also due to my law school buddies who helped keep me sane all summer by doing things like answering late-night phone calls and allowing me to explain my theory that commercial paper is a very clever prank devised by the Board of Law Examiners to test whether you can analyze legal problems despite the fact that the doctrine appears to have been written by Martians. Anyhow. I don’t have any special wisdom to share, so I’ll spare you the lecture about being a virtuous member of the bar. The only thing I’ll say on that front is that we are the beneficiaries of a government monopoly on the services that we perform. With that privilege comes a deep responsibility to the public. So do some good out there. The main thing that I want to say is congratulations to all of you. I want to tell you how excited I am to see what amazing things you all will do over the course of your careers. There are so many brilliant, talented people in this room—people who are going to be phenomenal lawyers, and policymakers, and businesspeople, and public servants, or all of the above. I am delighted to have the opportunity to enter the profession alongside such an exceptional group of people. Y’all are going to do so much good, in so many different ways. I hope that our paths cross many times as the years go by, and I look forward to working alongside—or against!—many of you in the future. Congratulations. It is a real honor to count myself among you. Thanks for listening. God bless you, and God bless Texas.
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