J. Reuben Clark Law Society

"Being Statesmen, Not Gamesmen," and Other Thoughts from Annual Fireside

On January 15, 2016, dozens of attorneys, students, family, and friends gathered in the Little Theatre of the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah for the Annual J. Reuben Clark Law Society Fireside, with many more tuning in via broadcast from locations worldwide. Among the attendees were Elder Quentin L. Cook and Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and members of the International J. Reuben Clark Board.

International Law Society Chair Virginia Tate Isaacson conducted the program, giving a special welcome to new members of the Law Society and expressing gratitude for the tremendous growth of the Law Society worldwide over the past year. The program opened with a beautiful musical arrangement of Nearer My God to Thee, performed by University of Utah students, followed by addresses from Judge J. Clifford Wallace, Senior Judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and Michael O. Leavitt, former three-term governor of Utah and former EPA Administrator and Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Dean James R. Rasband, Dean of the J. Reuben Clark Law School and former law clerk to Judge Wallace, presented the Franklin S. Richards Public Service Award to Judge Wallace. The Franklin S. Richards Award honors those whose public service epitomizes the virtues of the Law Society. Dean Rasband noted Judge Wallace’s tremendous service efforts spanning multiple decades, including Judge Wallace’s countless hours (and even “vacation” weeks) spent abroad building functional and impartial judicial systems overseas. Humbly accepting the award, Judge Wallace expressed his great love for the Savior, stating that he serves because he needs the Lord to be with him to give him guidance and inspiration. Says Judge Wallace, “While there is service remaining to be done, we must never retire from being of service to others.”

Following Judge Wallace’s remarks, Virginia Tate Isaacson and Mary Hoagland presented the Law Society’s Distinguished Service Award to Mr. Leavitt, who proceeded to share his keynote] address.  Mr. Leavitt’s remarks focused on leadership as he shared his own experiences and observations from interacting with numerous political leaders through the years—including Former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Mr. Leavitt contrasted examples of “Statesmen,” leaders who do the right thing because it is the right thing, with “Gamesmen,” those whose primary goal is to win—whatever the cost. According to Mr. Leavitt, everyone has to “work in politics” anytime a decision is to be made between people—whether in law, medicine, business, or volunteer work. As we engage in “politics,” he encouraged us to be statesmen and not gamesmen—to follow the scriptural admonition to do what is right, and to be receptive to feelings in the heart confirming that our actions are right.

Following the program, attendees gathered in the reception area of the Conference Center for refreshments and socializing.  Those who missed the Fireside are encouraged to view it online with their chapters or individually through the Law Society’s website: http://www.jrcls.org/firesides/archive.php.
By Megan J. Nelson, Media Committee

Posted: February 2, 2016