WMU-Cooley Law School’s Grand Rapids campus held orientation for incoming students January 3-4. During the orientation program, Judge Sara J. Smolenski, 63rd District Court, administered the WMU-Cooley Honor Code Oath.
Before administering the oath, Smolenski spoke about the importance of ethics and professionalism while in law school and while practicing law. She encouraged students to be themselves because they had already been successful so far to get to this point with starting law school.
Pictured (front row, from left) new law students AnnMarie Vetter, Beth VanDeusen, Hailey Wolbers, Elizabeth Badovinac, (back row, from left) Carrie Bell, Rachel Melville, Jeff Clay, Judge Smolenski, and Assistant Dean Victoria Vuletich.
Quoting a statement that she observed in the law school that WMU-Cooley Administrative Assistant Hillary Hansen posted, Smolenski spoke about the importance for the new law students to “Become someone no one thought you could be. Not even you.” She encouraged them to feel proud that they were in law school, and that they’d arrived there because they already were truthful, fair, and just.
Sharing from her own experience, Smolenski said she knew she would be a judge since the fourth grade when she wanted to read for and be the voice for a boy in her class who was smart, but he was afraid to read out loud. Additionally, she encouraged law students to persevere, and to have a good attitude, saying, “You can do this.”