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School of Law | Judge Rice Addresses First-Year Students

Judge Rice Addresses First-Year Students

Judge Walter H. Rice welcomed UDSL's 1Ls to the legal profession and told them that as law students they are now learning the new paradigm of lawyering. "Lawyers today are problem solvers," he said, explaining that a courtroom battle is the "last resort if all else has failed." As lawyers, Rice said, your objective is to provide a "buffer between your client and the legal problem that happens to bedeviling that client at that time."

This new paradigm isn't limited to lawyers. "Just as lawyers today are problem solvers, so too are judges. We are managers, we are administrators," Rice said, explaining that there are far fewer trials today. Judges, he said, are no longer people who just sit in a classroom.  They also have a responsibility to be active members of their community, said Rice, who, since 1980, has served on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.

During a visit to the School on February 3, speaking in the Mathias H. Heck Courtroom, Rice also talked about judicial clerkships and provided a brief overview of how the role of judges has changed in the United States over the last century.

In welcoming students into the legal profession Rice described the many ways lawyers and judges make a difference in communities, calling the legal profession as an area that has changed history and "preserved the American Dream."

"Lawyers through fearless representation of their clients, no matter how unpopular those causes, viewpoints or opinions have been, have professed these viewpoints against the tyranny of power," he said.


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