For The Record

Photograph by Kim Lee Schmidt

During his address at Richmond Law’s commencement in May, Donald Lemons, chief justice of the Virginia Supreme Court, shared his advice for finding happiness.

Society’s markers for success — money, fame, and power — don’t necessarily bring happiness, he said. Instead, he encouraged graduates to identify the values and relationships that hold significance and to “fiercely protect this aspect of your life.”

“The size of the gap between what you believe and know to be important and how you are actually living your life is the measurement of discontent,” he said.

Lemons also advised making time for their interests outside the law — be they art, cooking, hiking, or travel — as well for leadership and public service.

“Provision of legal services to those who would otherwise not be able to afford them is a privilege and a duty of the profession as well,” Lemons said. “I urge you to find the access-to-justice initiatives in your community and to do your share of pro bono work.”

Many graduates are well on their way. Twenty percent of the Class of 2017 earned the Carrico Center Pro Bono Certificate for completing 120 hours of service throughout their three years. Their contributions totaled more than 6,000 hours.