Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Twenty years ago, I became an attorney. I stood in the courtroom of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin and I swore to be a decent lawyer. I think that’s what I swore to. I was preoccupied then, worrying that my two little ones (in the audience) would make it through the event. Their dad was keeping tabs on them. We survived.

Today, I attended a swearing-in ceremony in the courtroom of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin.


There is a tradition in this state. If you are a parent or a spouse of the soon-to-be attorney, you may choose to present her to the Court and swear to her good character.

I swore to my daughter’s good character as she took the attorney oath. (I deviated from the text. I swore, but additionally, I swore that her dad and sister would attest to her impeccable character as well. The Chief Justice looked at me and said (to paraphrase): that is surprising. The fact that her father would agree with you? Understandable. But that her sister would? Are you sure?)


Justice Butler spoke to the group of eighteen Wisconsin attorney wannabes. He talked of being a role model way back when judging a gumbo contest. He talked about loving food. I really warmed up to that. He and I chatted afterwards about our love of food.


At the close of the event, Chief Justice Abrahamson told my daughter that I was an okay mom. Wisconsin is that kind of a state. People say nice things about one another. Oh, but Chief Justice, do you have any idea of how wonderful my daughters are?