Faneuil Hall ceremonies welcome 1,700 new lawyers to profession

Issue January 2007

More than 1,700 new attorneys were sworn in at Faneuil Hall’s Great Hall over four days in late November and early December.

Speaking at the Tuesday, Nov. 28 morning ceremony, MBA President-Elect David W. White-Lief described the pride he felt in the work he does every day as a trial attorney. "I am a trial lawyer, and I am proud of it despite all the criticism that particular profession takes from time to time. I am most proud of our system of justice which affords the small and the underprivileged the right to fight for what is right, and sometimes I can help."

He also explained the satisfaction he gets from his volunteer efforts, in which, "in some small ways I can contribute to the improvement of our legal system, to the way we practice law, to the rights of our clients, or the quality of our community."

White-Lief also encouraged new attorneys to take advantage of the opportunities that the MBA offers. "The MBA is a community," he said. "You can find a mentor, find legal education on a timely legal matter, and find a place to volunteer your time and your talents."

SJC Associate Justice Robert J. Cordy also spoke at the ceremony. "You are joining the oldest bar in the western hemisphere, and join a legion of outstanding practitioners of the law, including John Adams and Daniel Webster," he said proudly. Cordy also reminded them that "the business of law is a people business. To be important, you must be respected, and respect must be earned every day."

Maura S. Doyle, clerk of the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County, has presided over the ceremony for 14 years.

"This is the most appropriate place for you to take your first breath as lawyers," she said, referring to Faneuil Hall, nicknamed the "Cradle of Liberty."

"It is not something you will do for a living," she said. "It is something you will do for the rest of your lives. This is the most noble of professions. It will hopefully be a historic moment in your lives."

Doyle ended the ceremony with several pieces of advice, reminding the newly sworn-in lawyers, "Don’t ever think you got here on your own."

MBA President Mark D Mason, Vice President Denise Squillante, Treasurer Robert F. Lucas and Secretary Edward W. McIntyre spoke at swearing-in ceremonies earlier in the week. The swearing-in ceremony for new lawyers is held twice a year in both Boston and Springfield.