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Former Law Review editor–in-chief motivates students at induction ceremony

Courtney Joiner croppedThe former editor-in-chief of the Southern University Law Review encouraged SULC students to pursue happiness, live life in the present, and take advantage of every opportunity.

“I want to encourage you to be very present in this moment,” said Courtney Joiner, ’07, an attorney with Hammonds, Sills, Adkins, and Guice law firm in Baton Rouge. “Induction into Law Review is the culmination of hard work whether you graded or wrote on. This moment right now will be one of the greatest in your law school career. Remember to look around. Remember these friends. Remember the look of pride in the faces of your colleagues.“

Joiner was the featured speaker at the Law Review’s induction ceremony on September 22, 2015. Seventeen new members were inducted, including five third-year students and 12 second-year students.

He recalled his own experience in being a part of the Law Review as well as his excitement when he was invited to speak.

“When I got the call about speaking, I was ecstatic,” said the former U.S. attorney for the Western District of Louisiana. “I called my wife. I went out and bought a new suit and started writing my speech. That was probably the most enjoyable part about this process – going down memory lane. I can honestly say that my year as editor-in-chief was one of the absolute best times of my life. I made lifelong friends. I became a leader and I made a difference.”

Founded in 1974, the Southern University Law Review is a student-published scholarly journal that is dedicated to providing judges, lawyers, and students of the law with effective research materials.

Students say they were inspired by Joiner’s message.

“Mr. Joiner’s personal story encouraged me to continue to strive to reach new heights of excellence and never give up when faced with hardships during my legal career,” said Law Review managing editor Lillian Williams.

“He motivated me to continue on my path and not to give up,” said Law Review member Carla Haney. “Like Courtney, I have a spouse and children. I was concerned about keeping a balance, but after hearing Courtney speak, I have a different outlook.”

“He used his wit and humor not only to motivate us to do the best we could in Law Review, but also to help us realize how important it was that our hard work had gotten us to this point,” said Law Review member Britons Myer. “I think he set a good tone for the new members moving forward in our journey with Law Review.”