Supreme Court justice administers oath to 22 students
Public Relations - Published: August 26, 2009
swearingin2Delaware Supreme Court Justice Randy J. Holland recently presided over a special session of the court on the Delaware campus, where he administered an oath that admitted 22 Widener students to the limited practice of law. It marked the first time students working with the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic were included in the occasion.

The students were admitted Aug. 24 under a special rule that allows them to appear in some Delaware courts under very stringent guidelines. The oaths were taken in connection with their work in Widener’s Delaware Civil Clinic, its Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic and school externships with the Delaware Department of Justice.

This year marked the first time students with the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic were part of the group, thanks to two key developments. Associate Professor Kenneth T. Kristl, who directs the clinic, worked with Holland on getting the Delaware student practice rule amended to include the state’s Environmental Appeals Board as a tribunal before which law students may appear. In addition, Kristl, a long-time member of the Illinois bar, took and passed the Delaware bar exam in 2008. Kristl’s Delaware license allowed the Delaware Board of Bar Examiners to find the clinic could serve as a supervision and placement agency under the rule.

swearingin4Before administering the oath, Holland told the students they have to start thinking differently about themselves because they will now be perceived by clients and attorneys as members of the bar. He congratulated them on making a contribution to public service in this way.

“You will be making the keys to the courthouse available to the people who might not otherwise be able to get there,” he said.

Kristl and Associate Professor Dana Harrington Conner, who supervises the Delaware Civil Clinic, moved the students’ admissions to the limited practice of law. Holland, who also serves as a member of the law school’s adjunct faculty, called both of them role models, pointing to Kristl’s ambitious mid-career decision to take the Delaware bar exam and Harrington Conner’s national recognition for her public service work.

“It is a pleasure for me to do this,” Holland said of presiding over the ceremony – in which some of his former students participated. “I think Widener has an excellent reputation. This is a great place to go to school and a great place to learn and it is nice to see you applying what you’ve learned in class.”

Students who took the oath included:

Delaware Civil Clinic:
YooNieh Ahn
Jessica L. Boyer
Angelina W. Friend
Ross C. Karsnitz
swearingin1Lauren M. O’Connell
Brian M. Searls
Elizabeth A. Smith
Ashley L. Tito
Nicholas M. Tyler

Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic:
Rita Assetto
Matthew Burdalski
Dawn Kurtz Crompton
Catherine Emmett
Marie Hobson
Nicholas Jajko
Jongbin Lee
Chris McCann
Reena Pushpangadan
Keith Salador
Richard Scott

Delaware Department of Justice externs:
James Coleman