I was admitted as an attorney in Iowa on December 20. Before that date, I could not hold myself out as an attorney authorized to practice law in Iowa. After December 20, I can claim that distinction.
Iowa requires that every attorney admitted to practice law be sworn in by a Justice of the Iowa Supreme Court, which is equivalent to the Court of Appeals in New York State. This means that 30 seconds after being admitted as an attorney in Iowa, I was shaking hands with a Justice from its highest court. Cool.
The three of us who were sworn in on December 20 had the honor and privilege of having Justice Brent R. Appel administer the oath. He took the time to explain why he thought the tradition of having Supreme Court Justices administer the oath had merit, and why it should continue. He stressed the importance of civility, public service and professionalism. Eric and Katelin bore witness to the ceremony and were duly impressed by his humility and sense of honor.
Below is the oath I swore to uphold.
I swear or affirm:
As an officer of the Court serving in the administration of justice, I will:
- Support the Constitution of the United States and of the State of Iowa
- Perform to the utmost of my abilities and education
- Maintain the respect due to the Courts and my colleagues
- Faithfully and ethically discharge the duties required of Iowa lawyers
As a zealous advocate and counselor for my clients, I will:
- Strive to be worthy of trust and respect
- Counsel clients to maintain only those disputes supported by law and the legal process
- Use only those means that are consistent with justice
- Maintain the confidences of my clients as required by law
- Support the cause of the defenseless or oppressed, pro bono publico
As a member of the legal community, I will:
- Strive to represent the legal profession as one of justice, honor, civility and service.
I hope I can live up to these high words.