Pledge of Professionalism Provides Foundation for Law Students

The Evolution of Law School OrientationStudents experience many emotions as they begin law school. Excitement, fear, and joy are just a few. Each year, the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism – 2Civility welcomes first-year law students to the legal profession with an orientation program introducing them to the core concepts of attorney professionalism.

Over the past few months, 2Civility has partnered with all nine Illinois law schools to facilitate these orientations. At each, Illinois Supreme Court and Appellate Court Justices deliver remarks reflecting on the importance of civility and professionalism in the law. Following their remarks, they administer a Pledge of Professionalism, by which students promise to uphold the highest standards and ideals of the legal profession. The pledge is unique to each school, but typically follows this general outline:

As I begin the study of law, I acknowledge that my role in the legal profession is a privilege that comes with responsibilities. Accordingly, I pledge to support my colleagues, respect the faculty and staff, and uphold the reputation of my school. I commit myself to service without prejudice, integrity without compromise, and to civility and professionalism in all my interactions. I will promote the principles of justice handed down by the generations of attorneys who have gone before me. This pledge I take freely and upon my honor.

This year, almost 2,000 Illinois law students took the pledge.

“Taking the professionalism oath meant that my journey to uphold the morals and beliefs of the Court commenced as I held my right hand up. It also meant that I would hold myself to a higher standard of responsibility to act in a manner that would represent the legal profession,” said Niharika Reddy, University of Illinois College of Law.

READ MORE Illinois Courts Connect October 29, 2018

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