19 judges to participate in law school student orientation

August 12, 2004

Nineteen judges and 88 Mississippi attorneys are expected to participate in orientation programs for about 350 first-year law students in Clinton and Oxford on Aug. 18.

Mississippi Supreme Court Presiding Justice William L. Waller Jr. will be the keynote speaker for law students enrolled at the Mississippi College School of Law. He will open the program at Nelson Hall-Swor Auditorium on the Mississippi College campus in Clinton at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 18.

Supreme Court Justice George C. Carlson Jr. will be the keynote speaker for law students enrolled at the University of Mississippi School of Law. He will address students at 9 a.m. Aug. 18 at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts on the Ole Miss campus in Oxford.

The orientation for entering law school students, known as the James O. Dukes Professionalism Program, is organized by the Professionalism Committee of the Mississippi Bar. It is named for its founder, the late James O. Dukes of Gulfport, former president of the Mississippi Bar. This is the sixth year for the program.

Mississippi Bar Executive Director Larry Houchins said, "This is an exciting program which has the potential to substantially affect the attitudes of young lawyers about the practice of law and, in combination with other efforts, to make a material change for the better in our profession."

About 175 students are expected to participate at each school.

After the keynote addresses at each law school, students will break into small groups for discussions with lawyers and judges. Two or three facilitators will be paired with each group of eight to 10 students to discuss ethics and professionalism. Breakout sessions at Mississippi College will be conducted at the B.C. Rogers Student Center. Breakout sessions at the University of Mississippi will be at the Lamar Law Center.

Each program will conclude with a luncheon for judges, lawyers and students.

Judges acting as facilitators for the breakout sessions at Mississippi College School of Law include: Supreme Court Justice Jess H. Dickinson; Court of Appeals Chief Judge Leslie D. King; Court of Appeals Judge Joe Lee; Chancery Judges J. Larry Buffington of Collins and James H. C. Thomas Jr. of Hattiesburg; and Circuit Judges Margaret Carey-McCray of Greenville, Isadore W. Patrick Jr. of Vicksburg, Samac S. Richardson of Brandon, and W. Swan Yerger of Jackson. Retired judges participating in the program include former Supreme Court Justice Fred L. Banks Jr., former Court of Appeals Judge Mary Libby Payne, and former Circuit Judge Robert L. Gibbs.

Judges acting as facilitators for the breakout sessions at the University of Mississippi School of Law include: Justice Carlson; Court of Appeals Judge T. Kenneth Griffis; Chancery Judges Percy L. Lynchard Jr. of Hernando, Rodney E. Shands of New Albany, and Patricia D. Wise of Jackson; and Circuit Judges Robert W. Bailey of Meridian, Marcus D. Gordon of Decatur, Forrest A. Johnson Jr. of Natchez, and Frank G. Vollor of Vicksburg. Retired Chancery Judge Norman L. Gillespie of Oxford is also participating.