The reality is finally starting to set in. When I leave my Domestic Relations class (lecture) tonight it will be for the last time. All that is left are the final exams. We’ve all worked so hard and put in countless hours of study it seems hard to believe the time has finally arrived. What a bittersweet moment it is.
I’m sure we are all glad to see it come to an end but at the same time it will be hard to say good-bye to the friends I have made during my time at NSL. Of course, there is always the possibility of seeing them at CLE’s, conventions, and other events. But for some, our paths may never cross again.
But above all, there is the feeling of tired satisfaction. If I may borrow the words of the Apostle Paul when he wrote to Timothy, “…the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” We have survived four grueling years of juggling work schedules, family events, putting off vacations and, for some, driving two hours or more one-way two and then three nights a week. I hold in high admiration my classmates who have traveled from East and West Tennessee each week to pursue their dream. Good luck to you my friends.
And I cannot reminisce without mentioning the people that have had a significant impact on my life and desired profession over the last four years. In my second year I met and learned from Mr. John Baird, Esq. He cultivated a passion for property law that I never knew existed. His professional demeanor and obvious love for his chosen field helped me to recognize that I, too, wanted to enter that field of the law. The next year I was fortunate to have Judge Randy Kennedy for Wills and Estates. I loved the energy, sense of humor, and in-depth subject knowledge that he brought to each class. He made me realize that I could combine my interest in Property law with a newfound desire to also work in Wills and Estates. And that is my goal as I leave the academic arena and look for a position in private practice.
Finally, I cannot say enough about the office staff. We have, without a doubt, the best administrative staff of any law school in the state. Sharonda and Heather always greet you with a smile and patiently answer questions and disseminate information. I’m sure that many times they just shook their head and wondered how we ever found our way to the right class.
Most of all, I want to acknowledge a lady who has become a dear friend. Robin Harrell holds the title of Assistant Registrar but she is much more than that. Robin, you let me vent my frustrations, share my successes, and gave candid advice when needed. I didn’t like your answers sometimes but you always told me the truth. I always knew when I saw you in the hallway that I would be the recipient of a smile and kind hello. Your words of encouragement during the bad times and our shared laughter during the good ones mean more to me than you will ever know. I’m going to miss you.
And so, as my friend Eddie recently told me, the pop-quiz is about to end and now we must prepare for the final exam. To all my classmates I wish you well in your preparations and hope that I am fortunate to stand with you in October when we all take the oath and begin the next stage of our journey.