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March 15, 2014
President Eugene Pettis, left, and Wm. Reece Smith IIITHE BAR’S LEADERSHIP ACADEMY was formally dedicated as the Wm. Reece Smith, Jr., Leadership Academy at the Board of Governor’s January meeting at a ceremony attended by inaugural fellows of the academy and members of Smith’s family, including his son Wm. Reece Smith III, right. President Eugene Pettis recounted how, when he was elected, he sat down with Smith, a former Bar, ABA, and International Bar Association president, “and he gave me some words of wisdom. He was way before his time. We talk a lot today in 2014 about diversity. I hear stories about how back in the ’60s he was doing things, opening doors.” Pettis said the academy will try to instill in fellows the moral precepts that guided Smith, which were cited on the dedication plaque: “First: Every person deserves to have their basic rights protected, regardless of economic or social circumstances. Second: Lawyers are privileged professionals and as such have a responsibility to use their skills and knowledge for the betterment of all members of society. Third: In rendering legal services, lawyers must possess the virtues of good character, competence, and commitment to clients, the courts, and the public interest.”

[Revised: 12-17-2014]