Incoming students at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School’s Tampa Bay campus recently participated in a Professionalism in Action program as part of their new student orientation and took the law school’s Honor Code Oath.
Before administering the honor code, Hillsborough County Circuit Court Judge Daryl Manning spoke to the students about being honest, not only as a law student, but also as a legal professional after law school.
"You have to be totally honest with the court even if it doesn't help your case,” Judge Manning told the students. "You are not about one single case. You are in law school to enter this profession, not just to do a single case. Remember that no one case is so important that you sell your soul, no case."
Judge Manning also offered advice to the students, "Read the cases, so that you can totally understand it, be prepared for class,” he said. "Put in the work that it is required. You will have midterms or finals and in class assignments, make sure you put in the work. Come to the courthouse, this is the best place to learn how to practice. Make yourselves a fixture in the courthouse. Law school is not only about class — join other organizations and be involved in moot court or mock trial."
The judge also explained that while law school is rigorous, it is also important for students to take a mental break.
"This is not a sprint, it is a marathon,” Manning said of law school. “Watch out for your mental health, have a balance, take a break — maybe watch football or find something else to do. Make friends and have a good time in law school.”