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The justices introduced themselves before taking questions, talking about how small their high schools were compared to sprawling Champlin Park and about trying to convince one justice’s child not to become an attorney. The crowd whooped when Justice Wilhelmina Wright said she graduated from Harvard Law School.
Justice Alan Page told the students that being on the state Supreme Court is a great job. “I love what I do, grappling with complex cases,” he said. He said the greatest change he’s seen in the legal world over the years has been the dramatic increase in the number of female and minority attorneys.
Another student wondered whether it made a difference to the justices how a lawyer presents a case. Justice Barry Anderson said no, adding that an attorney’s great stage performance is unlikely to affect the outcome of a case.
Lillehaug commented on the weighty responsibility justices bear when they write rulings that could be viewed and cited by lawyers for the next 100 years.
And Wright talked about potential roadblocks in a person’s legal career, such as low expectations from others. “But you create your own destiny,” she said. That met with loud applause.
But the exchanges weren’t all serious. On a comical note, Page joked that he hoped playing for the Minnesota Vikings didn’t hurt him when he ran for election to the state Supreme Court.
David Chanen • 612-673-4465