US District Court Judge John L. Kane speaks about lawyers, leadership, legacy (and Gen Y)
Posted Jun 03 2010 12:00am
Last month, Judge Kane spoke at his 50th-year class reunion at University of Denver College of Law. His talk [pdf], posted with permission, is inspirational and, at times, also troubling. Excerpt:
I want to spend a few serious minutes commenting on our common legacy. About what we have learned and can pass on. About what a lifetime as lawyers enables us to share with the next generation which graduated today.
These young people are called the Millenium Generation. They don't have it easy. I'm not suggesting we did, but their is is a different world. Maybe that's why the Millenials seem to differ so greatly from any generation that came before.
I wish I had a better grasp of the issues, but this newest generation seems to possess an entirely different set of values. They are more concerned with lifestyle than clients or causes. We thought hard work and perseverance would eventually lead to a partnership in a firm and it was an unusual event when a partner left one firm and joined another. That kind of dogged loyalty is a thing of the past. ...
I want to tell this next generation that the philosophers were right; that St. Francis, Buddha, Muhammad, Maimonides — all spoke the truth