UW School of Law Transcript
March 5, 2010
Thank you, Hillary, very much. I am
honored to have been invited to talk to you all here about a case which, I think,
represents the highlight of my legal career, and of course I always enjoy talking
about it. I am going to preface the Helicopteros case with the knowledge that as
a practicing lawyer, sometimes legal principles are not that important. The Helicopteros
case is an example.
What clients are interested in are not legal principles. What they're interested
in are results. That is, does it cost so much to litigate the case when it could
have been settled for a lesser amount? They're not that interested in any landmark
principles that might have been established.
Occasionally, you have a case in which the principle is very important because it
will affect future cases. However, in 1979 and 1980, when I first got involved in
this case, the Helicopteros case could only be described as a bit of a dog. That
is, nobody wanted to touch it because it did not seem to have any long lasting value.
When the Helicopteros case was first filed, the facts of the case were that there
were four American citizens who were killed in a helicopter accident in Peru. Helicopteros
was a subsidiary of Alianca, which was a commercial airline which flew into Texas,
California, and throughout the United States.
Helicopteros, however, confined its operations to South America. It was hired by
a company in Texas to assist in bringing workers to a pipeline in Peru, and in the
course of one of those trips the helicopter crashed and everybody was killed.
The helicopters were purchased from Textron, which is a major helicopter manufacturer
in Texas. They spent over $3 million for their helicopters.
In addition, they had a bank account in New York, and they wired funds from Texas
to the Helicopteros account in New York. The issue there, at the trial level in
Houston, Texas, was whether Helicopteros could be sued by the families of these
Americans who died in the crash.
In 1978 or '79, practicing lawyers in this country used to say that if you have
minimum contacts based upon International Shoe, which I'm sure you're all familiar
with, that is all you need. And if you have minimal contacts, you will have jurisdiction.
Helicopteros, in the end, said that wasn't true. That was the focal point of the
development of the law that resulted in the Supreme Court decision in Helicopteros.
At the trial level, I was not involved in the case, but the lawyers - we were working
with the lawyers from San Antonio. They filed a motion to dismiss on grounds of
lack of jurisdiction. The trial judge said, "There are sufficient minimum contacts
in Houston and, therefore, your motion is denied."
The case then went to trial, where Helicopteros was hit with a verdict of over $1.2
million, which over the years, grew through interest to $2 million.
After the case was lost, my boss - I was kind of a junior partner at the firm -
went over to Lloyd's of London. That's why I'm talking about clients. They wanted
to know why the case wasn't settled. It could have been settled for something like
$400,000, and yet we now had a verdict of approximately $1.4 million.
Our clients, Lloyd's of London, were not really interested in the principles of
due process, the principles of jurisdiction. They were interested in results. We
were faced with an opportunity to settle this case for $400,000. We turned it down
because we were so sure we would win, and then we lost.
At that stage, the senior partner asked me to comment because I had some experience
with appellate work, and then I wrote a brief for the intermediate appellate court,
and the court held in our favor that there was no jurisdiction. So, it was kind
of a restorative victory that at that level the court realized that there wasn't
The case was then appealed to the Supreme Court of Texas. The Supreme Court of Texas
wrote an opinion with three or four justices dissenting upholding the decision that
Helicopteros was not subject to jurisdiction.
Unfortunately, in Texas, back in the old days, there was an election in which judges
are elected. The plaintiff's bar is very strong in Texas. They were able to put
three plaintiffs oriented on the Texas Supreme Court. Miraculously, the court granted
a rehearing and said that there was no jurisdiction.
This was a devastating result. The question then was, "What do we do now?" We had
lost at the last possible level, state level. The decision was then made to try
to go to the United States Supreme Court.
In filing a petition to the Supreme Court, I decided that this case was very difficult
to get the attention of the Supreme Court. In 1983, or '82, the Supreme Court received
petitions for review, certiorari petitions, of about 7000. Out of the 7000, the
Supreme Court takes somewhere between 70 and 90. So, your chances of getting into
the Supreme Court are quite remote. I realized that this case would be very difficult
to get the attention of the Supreme Court, or more accurately, the clerks of the
Supreme Court justices.
So, I looked at every petition on jurisdiction that had been filed since the Volkswagen
case. I'm sure you're all familiar. It's a leading case on jurisdiction. I looked
to see why the Supreme Court didn't take these cases, or any of them on jurisdiction,
because in the marketplace all the attorneys I talked to said, "You can't win this
case, because there are too many contacts in Texas. They bought over $2 million
pieces of equipment in Texas. They had a directors' meeting there. They also had
a bank account from which money was paid. You cannot win this case."
In addition that that, because I always like to deal with students; I had a letter
from a student in Stanford University Law School. He wrote and said, "We're going
to use the Helicopteros case for a moot court. Please send me the brief."
So, I put them all together and sent it to him. He wrote back and said, "The moot
court was very successful. Thank you very much, but you lost 20-10."
What I did in studying, all the cases were
denied. I learned that the attorneys who filed the petition talked too much about
the facts. The Supreme Court is not interested in facts. They're interested in law.
So, to write a petition, as many of these petitioners did, they were asking the
Supreme Court to review a factual situation. The second thing I learned was I had
to somehow take this case and make it shine over the other 7000 petitions that were
before the court. I had to create a theme, a horrible, if you will, as to why this
case had turned out so badly and why the Supreme Court should review it.
It occurred to me that one of the things that the Texas Supreme Court said was that
because Helicopteros purchased helicopters, over $2 million worth, in Texas, they
should be subject to jurisdiction.
I went to the U.S. Trade Representative, who was the representative of the United
States dealing with trade, and I said, "This is a horrible situation. That means
that any foreigner who buys an American product, they're also buying a lawsuit and
jurisdiction in the United States. This is going to destroy the U.S. export policy."
Now, I know that will sound a little bit hyped up, and it was, but I was trying
to get the attention of the U.S. Trade Representative to file an amicus. One of
the ways in which you get your case to be distinguished from the other 7000 is to
get an amicus to join with you.
Well, I was unsuccessful in getting the U.S. Trade Representative, but I nevertheless
in my petition raised that question. I also said that there was a decision called
Perkins versus Benguet in which they raised the question of a number of contacts
which would equal presence.
Now, today, presence is a bad word. You don't use that word anymore in talking about
jurisdiction. What you talk about are assimilated contacts which, in effect, is
equivalent to presence.
In the course of doing the research, I also had to find a conflict with the U.S.
Supreme Court decision. I thought I found one with Perkins. Then I raised the horrible
of the trade problem.
Thirdly, I had to find a series of cases in the States showing that there was a
problem out there about minimum contacts, that people were saying minimum contacts
is enough, and my position was that they were not. The Supreme Court took the case.
Frankly, I and most of the members of the bar were surprised they took it.
I then read an article, which is cited in the decision in the Helicopteros case.
It was written by Prof. Van Murrin of Harvard University. Having read just about
everything on jurisdiction and every case on jurisdiction from my team in International
Shoe, it begins to gel where I should go.
The threshold point was that minimum contacts is not enough; the cause of action
must arise from those contacts. Therefore, if you have three or four contacts in
the state of Texas, as we had, it doesn't mean anything unless the cause of action
arises from those contacts.
That's why the Supreme Court has said in earlier cases that the issue of jurisdiction
deals with the forum, the litigation and, of course, the contacts in the forum.
So, I raised the question for the first time in the history of jurisdictional jurisprudence.
I raised the analysis of general and specific jurisdiction. I don't take credit
for that. I got that from Prof. Van Murrin.
I want to just give you an aside. I don't know whether there are any professors
here, but if there are I hope they're not offended. In the United States, we don't
honor people in the academic community. I'm talking about practicing lawyers. In
Europe, it's a different ballgame. People who are scholars in the law are revered.
In this country, they're not.
I revere them because they're always ahead of the curve. They present to you ideas
which need to be massaged and can be used, just like I used Prof. Van Murrin's idea
and gave him credit for it. That article is cited in the Helicopteros decision.
So, I got to the Supreme Court - I seem to have lost my notes - and I raised the
issue of general and specific jurisdiction. I'd like you to know - I think I'm repeating
myself - that this was the first case that general and specific jurisdiction was
put in jurisdictional jurisprudence.
Today, everybody makes the distinction between general and specific, general being
if you have assimilated contacts, a presence, one that would make you susceptible
to jurisdiction, even if the cause of action arises out of the jurisdiction, if
there is general jurisdiction you can be sued.
However, specific jurisdiction requires that the minimum contacts which are present
in the case, the cause of action must emanate, must arise, from those minimum contacts.
It was not a difficult or mind-bending analysis, but it did come together in Helicopteros.
I think the court agreed to take the case because they recognized that the issue
of minimum contacts in the marketplace was not being applied properly. So, on the
date of the argument, I showed up. And being in the Supreme Court is kind of like
being in church. Everybody is quiet. Everybody is nervous; I certainly was nervous.
I was the second person to argue. There was a case in front of me, Keeton versus
That's an interesting case. And I was sitting
there, and the Court opened up the session, and Chief Justice Burger opened the
Court. I think there are a few people admitted to the Supreme Court Bar, which is
kind of a ceremony that takes place before arguments. And then a gentleman by the
name of Stephen Shapiro got up to argue the Hustler case. All of a sudden, there
was this ruckus in the back of the court room. It was yelling and screaming, something
that one does not expect to take place in the United States Supreme Court. And Chief
Justice Burger, who was a rather irascible man, not particularly popular - even
with the Justices - he started to shout out, "Throw that man out of here! Get him
out of here!" And, as it was, it was Larry Flynt...
...in a wheelchair. Larry Flynt was upset
with Chief Justice Burger because he wouldn't let Flynt argue his own case. So,
he was thrown out of the courtroom and Mr. Shapiro argued the case. I got up to
argue second - and I'll tell you about some of the questions I got. But the third
argument was about Shirley Jones; it's Calder versus Jones. The result in that case
has been very troublesome to me over the years. But Calder versus Jones is basically
a specific jurisdiction case. It doesn't involve general jurisdiction, which I was
arguing to the U.S. Supreme Court. Calder is a very famous case.
Recently, I went to a concert where Shirley Jones was, who was an actress who played
Marian the Librarian in "The Music Man." A very nice lady. I went up to her - she
was having a book signing - and I said, "I'm very pleased to meet you. You are the
Jones of Calder versus Jones?" And she said to me, "Is that what I'm famous for?"
Also representing the petitioners, and you'll
see it in the list of counsel, was Aubrey Daniel. I know you're all so young you
don't know Aubrey Daniel. As a result of the Vietnam War, there was a famous trial
against Lieutenant Kelley, who was accused of conducting a massacre of villagers
in Vietnam. And the prosecutor, whose name was in the paper for two weeks during
the trial, was Aubrey Daniel. So he showed up, representing the petitioners in Calder
versus Jones. When I got up to argue, I had, of course, my argument in a very nice,
I think, lucid presentation. I got into the argument about two minutes and, in the
course of the argument, I got 23 questions in 25 minutes. I was somewhat surprised.
There was a study you might have read about
recently, of Supreme Court Justices and their questions. According to a recent survey,
the lawyer who gets the most questions by the Supreme Court loses. I don't know
how accurate it was, but I got 23 questions, my adversary got 5, and they were all
softball questions. Among the questions I got was from Justice O'Connor, who was
recently appointed to the Supreme Court. Justice O'Connor said, "If we agree with
you, Mr. Whalen, would you agree to waive the statute of limitations so these people
can sue in Colombia." I said, "No, your Honor, I wouldn't do that." She took her
brief and threw it on the table.
Justice Rehnquist, he said, "Look, why can't we assimilate all the context, the
bank account in New York, the meetings in Oklahoma, the bank account in Texas, the
buying of the machines. Why can't we just assemble them so that we have this so-called
general jurisdiction?" And I said, "Yes, your Honor, you could do that. But, in
order to do that, you have to destroy the borders between the states. You've got
to eliminate states' rights."
Because this was a state case and the issue was not whether there was jurisdiction
over the United States, it was just jurisdiction in Texas. So, Rehnquist, it was
kind of a wise-guy answer, and he reacted accordingly.
Then Justice Brennan said, "Well, look, these
people bought over $3 million worth of equipment in Texas. Isn't that a basis for
jurisdiction? Even if your theory holds water, can't we say that the buying of the
helicopters is a basis for specific jurisdiction?" And I said, "The issue is the
negligence of Helicopteros. And if Textron made a lousy helicopter or failed to
train our people, that's negligence on the part of Textron. That's not a wrong that
Helicopteros did in Texas." Those were some of the questions I received. And in
the Supreme Court, even today, there are two things which happen in the Supreme
Court. Supreme Court Justices want concessions of counsel. In any argument you read
in "Law Week," you'll find that some Justice or another is trying to make you make
a concession. Of course, I resist all of that, unless it's helpful to my case.
And the second thing is, the Supreme Court, because they're interested in the implications
of their decisions, they ask you a lot of hypotheticals. Justice Stephens was asking
me hypotheticals about, if my doctrine was to be accepted by the Supreme Court,
what about contracts? What if there's a breach of contract? And I said, "If there's
a breach of contract, which was formed in Texas, there's specific jurisdiction."
So, those are the kinds of questions you get.
Now, when the Court finally came out with the decisions they decided, you'll see
that in the handout I made, Keeton and Calder versus Jones were decided first. It
went against the defendants, in both cases. There was jurisdiction that was found.
So, obviously, while anxiously waiting for the decision, it looked, to me, like
the Supreme Court was going to continue to open up the courts to jurisdiction. It
was - at least, in my opinion - it was a bad sign. In addition, my friends at Stanford
Law School had just told me, I had lost a moot court decision.
But, Helicopteros finally came out - and
I hope you all have read it. It's marked by a number of things. One, it was by the
issue of general versus specific, the first time the Supreme Court has used that
dichotomy. Secondly, the Supreme Court bought my idea that trade policy would be
affected. I cited a Rosenberg case which was written my Justice Brandeis. I thought
that citing Justice Brandeis was kind of an open door, and actually the Supreme
Court bought the Brandeis idea that just by purchasing equipment you do not agree
The Helicopteros case, one of my colleges have told me, has been cited since 1984,
twenty-one thousand times in both legal periodicals and in cases. It is a weapon
by defense counsel, that's what I am, in order to throw out cases against foreign
defendants. I have used it over the years. I guess people, they think if you handled
one case, you can handle another case on the same basis. That may not be true, but
that's the image.
A couple of years ago, out in Seattle, I represented an outfit called Aero Ferinco.
That is a Mexican airplane company. It takes people on tours to the ruins in Mexico.
What happened is that eight couples from the University of Washington went to Miami
to attend the Huskies/Miami football game. After the game, they were going to take
a cruise on the Holland American line.
They took the Holland American line to Cozumel, Mexico, where it was suggested on
the Holland American line cruise that they take this unique trip to the ruins using
Aero Ferinco to fly around.
I represented Aero Ferinco. Aero Ferinco took off from Cozumel, and crashed at the
base of the ruins, of one of the ruins in - I can't remember the - Chichen Itza
is the place in Mexico. It was a significant tragedy, and the families of the people...
It was in all of the headlines. I think it was 1985 or '86. I can never remember.
There were all these people, alumni from Washington State who had perished in the
accident that was presumably caused by my client. They used an old Czech aircraft
and the engines were not maintained properly. So, from a liability point of view,
I was in a difficult situation.
But, the suit was filed here, in the federal court in Washington, and I trotted
out Helicopteros. I said, "There's no jurisdiction or not context. The course of
action did not arise from anything happening here." And the court agreed with me.
The families did recover from Holland America a lot of money on the grounds that
Holland America had advertised this tour on my airline, and they said they did not
investigate the airline, and it had a very bad reputation, and that Holland America
should have had duty to inquire. I thought it was a dubious situation for the Holland
America was nervous about the case. They settled the case. The plaintiffs and their
families got a lot of money.
The problem in the courts today on jurisdiction is related to the Internet. For
example, when you make a sale using the Internet, does the vendor agree to general
jurisdiction? If that was true, then every vendor who sells goods in the United
States over the Internet would be subject to jurisdiction.
Of course, I oppose that. I'm on the defense side. The case which I think you all
will find absolutely intriguing is a case called Zippo. That states today the current
law on jurisdiction through the Internet. The answer is not final yet.
What Zippo says is that in order for there to be jurisdiction, there must be a consummated
sale. It must be not only an advertising or solicitation, but there must be a consummated
contract through the Internet. I still don't like that decision, because it just
exposes people... Even my clients, who are all foreigners, they use the Internet
as much as Americans.
I had a case in New Jersey. It was a tragic case. There's a hotel called the Hotel
Severe in Mexico City. It's a very, very nice hotel. Everything is spotless clean.
They had a pool on the top of the roof. This lady from New Jersey went to the hotel,
and around the pool was a glass panel, and it was sparkling clean because that was
the tradition of the hotel. This lady from New Jersey, who got her booking over
the Internet, in a burst of enthusiasm ran to jump into the pool and crashed into
She was very... We had to airlift her to New Jersey. She sued us in New Jersey,
the hotel, for their negligence. Creating an illusion of invisibility, a doctrine
which I'm sure you may be familiar with in tort.
I quickly tried out Helicopteros. I said, "This hotel does nothing in New Jersey.
We solicit on the Internet. We let people know what a great hotel we are, how clean
we are, but this lady did not solidify her contract... And in any event, even if
she did, the cause of action did not arise from the contract. It arose from the
fact that the hotel put panels up that gave the illusion of invisibility."
The Helicopteros case is not a popular case. I use it a great deal. I represented
Air Algerie in a case in a case in Texas. I have used it.
I represented the state of Libya recently, and the issue in the Foreign Sovereign
Immunities Act relates to jurisdiction. I was successful there, not on Helicopteros
but on the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.
If there's anybody who has any questions on Helicopteros, I'd be happy to see...
Hillary asked me to, she put it much more politely than I'm putting it, but she
said, "I'd like you to tell your colleagues about all the mistakes that you've made
over the years that could, perhaps, help the students, especially in law school."
And I said to here, "Well, if you want me to talk about that, I'm going to be here
for about two hours." So, I'm going to give you some ideas about things I didn't
do and things I did do in law school that I hope that you'll think about.
The first thing I regret is that I didn't take a course in bankruptcy. Bankruptcy
is a field that has no logic to it. You need a professor to take you through it.
It's something you can't... And given my own inadequacy, it's something very difficult
to learn on your own. Admiralty, on the other hand, you can pick up Gilmore and
Black and you don't need that course. You can pick it up.
I took Article IX, which is a very difficult course. I found it difficult in law
school. But, because I did do some transactional work, buying and selling of airplanes
and registering them, Article IX is invaluable. Secure transactions.
I also regret not having taken an accounting course. I think that in today's business
world, every lawyer - you don't have to be a professional accountant - you've got
to know the buzzwords. You've got to know the principles of a business statement.
I feel that I missed that, and I should have. I tried to learn this on my own. I
did OK, but if I had to do it over again, I would see that in my education that
I would take accounting.
I think, also, that civil procedure, which I guess is a mandatory course, is a very
important course. It's the nuts and bolts of practice.
The other thing I learned is that when in law school, that one of the habits...
I can't say that I had that happen in law school, but it's one that I should have
had. I have it today, but I didn't have it then. That is, the difference between
a mediocre lawyer and a good lawyer and successful lawyer is not his intelligence.
It's not how high he was in his rankings in law school, or any other particular
honors, whether he's a judge, clerkship. That's not important.
The only thing that is important is preparation. I would say that a lawyer who prepares
for everything will be successful. A lawyer who is glib, and who thinks he knows
everything and can talk ad hoc is not going to be successful. I have won cases I
should have lost because the other side was not prepared.
You might say, "Well, that's not fair. If you should have lost it, you should have
lost it." But that's the difference.
So today, in order to speak to you, it's a matter of my ego and self respect. I
spent about 10 hours preparing this lecture because it would be an insult to the
audience to come here and talk ad lib about some case I handled 25 years ago. It's
a lesson that I learned every day with respect to my colleagues in the office, because
sometimes colleagues who are experts in products liability think they can stand
up and talk about products liability in a coherent way.
The lesson I have learned, which sometimes I showed up for class unprepared. It's
a bad habit. Every law student for every class should nurture the habit of being
One of the things I didn't do, and regret doing... I felt that the way that I should
succeed in law school is to go to the library and read the books, and maybe read
some of the cases the books cited. But, I should have taken another step, and I
do that today in my practice.
Study groups where you brainstorm cases are a tremendous value in learning. I do
it in my practice. I don't talk to associates who haven't read the material. It's
the partners, but you have to talk through the material because... You have to read
the material because somebody talking glibly adds no value. And so, I recommend
that study groups are a valuable tool in law school.
Today, on research, it is critical. Today's law students and young lawyers... Every
one of them who has been diligent is a far better researcher than I am, or will
ever be because they have the computer facility. The world is being controlled by
computer as well as a legal practice.
But, there's one problem with computers: You do your research based upon words.
You pick up a word or two, and you isolate and find cases that have those words.
The problem is that law is deeper than words. Law is about principles and concepts,
and many people describe it in different ways. By sticking in three or four words,
you don't get everything. Therefore, to make your research complete, you must research
not only words, but concepts.
Young lawyers sometimes hand me stuff that's well researched, well written, but
they haven't proofread it. They make stupid, careless, errors. That takes away from
your product. That takes away from your thinking, and therefore, if you're going
to present something in writing, or in public speaking... Writing I'm really speaking
of, you must proofread to make it the best product you can.
Today's world, in the practice of law, is about being specialists rather than generalists.
I wish it were the other way, because I don't think there's any field of law that
I reject as being uninteresting. I read patent cases... Anything new in any field
of law is of interest to me, because I think it broadens my understanding of the
growth of the law itself.
But, in today's world, you have to be a specialist. You have to have some value
to present to your law firm, or to the government, wherever you're going to practice.
I can tell you, about 20 years ago I had a nice trip to Ireland. I was representing
Air Lingus. I decided that this was kind of a perk that I would enjoy. So, I decided
that I would go in my jeans, and I would be unshaven for about three or four days,
and wear some kind of sweater that perhaps Albert Einstein wore.
If you know Albert Einstein, if you have his talent, then you can wear anything.
But, unfortunately, I'm not in that category. I sat next to the president of a major
I was embarrassed. I looked kind of like something that the cat dragged in. Here
was an opportunity to meet an important fellow, who would be a source of business.
I wish that... In my office, we have what's called "dressed down days," in which
people show up in anything.
I've always been against that. One of my colleagues say that he thinks that I sleep
with a tie, but I have learned from that mistake that you are always on stage. You're
on stage here in the law school.
You're on stage meeting the clients. It doesn't mean you have to wear Armani suits.
It does mean that you have to look professional. It is really quite important. The
I'm going to check my time. Oops. I've got five minutes. Many years ago, I handled
a case, because the United States government wasn't insured on a policy. The case
is Lunsford versus the United States.
It's a landmark case. What had happened was the Institute of Atmospheric Science
of the University of South Dakota had a contract with the US government. The institute
was an organ of the state of South Dakota, and, therefore, claimed a state of sovereign
What happened was the Institute of Atmospheric Science was seeding clouds in order
to create rain. The Institute was one of the most important educational institutions
in this country on weather modification.
They had great success in hail suppression in Colorado. At any rate, on a particular
day, the clouds were over Rapid City, South Dakota, and they looked very ominous.
But, one of the pilots went up and put seeds in the clouds, silver iodine.
I won't say cause and effect, because I argued against it. But, as a result of that,
so the plaintiffs claim, the Rapid City flood of 1972 wiped out over $8 million
worth of property and killed about eight people.
I was before a judge. He recused himself, because he had lost his house. The case
was a disaster for Lloyds of London. They didn't believe in rainmaking. So, they
charged a premium of about $7000 to put on an endorsement for rainmaking activities.
The suit claimed over $180 million. Lloyds of London was very upset. Not with us,
but with the whole idea of this lawsuit. The suit was brought against the United
I did my research. There was a class action. Everybody who lost their lives or who
lost property were united in a class against the Unites States. In researching it,
I found a provision in the Federal Tort Claims Act.
It said you must file a claim, before you can file suit. It went up to the 8th Circuit,
in St. Paul Minnesota. I argued that there could be no class action against the
United States, because every member of the class must file a claim.
I won. To this day, there have been no class actions under the Federal Tort Claims
Act against the United States. I was fascinated by the whole idea of rainmaking.
I joined a weather modification club, so to speak.
I read a couple of books on weather modification. I heard some interesting cases.
I learned about them. A lawsuit, between two states, one saying, "You seeded clouds.
You stole rain from me."
I threw myself completely into it. One day, my partner said, "I admire your enthusiasm,
but listen, we don't have weather modification problems in New York City. You are
exerting all this energy on something that has nothing to do with your legal career."
He was right. So, what I am saying to you. I want to finish up in just a minute.
I'm saying to you is that if you want to a successful and happy career, pick the
things that are a supplement to your legal career.
Do not spend time doing things that do not advance your legal career. I had three
more points to make, which I'll make in one minute.
When you get into a law firm, you'll find that there are some partners who grab
the benefits of your research, your ideas, and use them. It's dishonest. But, when
you get to a law firm - if that's what your program is - you find a mentor, who
wants to advance your career. In every law firm, there are people, who want you
to succeed. You just got to find your way, in a law firm. You get a mentor to advance
Finally, you must make sure that your writing and speaking skills are... You must
work on them. Because, in everything you do, whether it's a client meeting or a
public presentation, it's important that you be able to speak with some ease on
a particular subject.
Finally, I learned many years ago, because my interest was, in the law. But, there's
something that they don't teach you in law school, and that is business development
In our market place, in the market place of the law, you have to be able to sell
your expertise. You have to be able to connect with people and let them know that
you can be of value to them.
Finally, no matter what else happens, and, despite the fact that the legal profession
today has been tarnished by greed, by dishonesty, our generation, my generation,
especially after Watergate, the legal profession reached the depths.
Nobody in his right mind would want to be associated with a lawyer. Things have
changed. Your generation must change that. In the end, honesty, ethics, and integrity
prevail, maybe not in the short term but in the long term.
So, with that I'm going to conclude. I've enjoyed very much talking with you, and
I wish you all a successful and happy legal career.