“I’m here to tell you the Virginia State Bar is thrilled with Liberty University.”
Those were the words of Manuel “Manny” Capsalis, President of the Virginia State Bar, when he spoke to LU’s law students in the Supreme Court Room of the Law School on Wednesday afternoon.
His speech touched on the importance of faith, professionalism and passion in law today.
“We serve as stewards of the legal system, tasked with the responsibility to strengthen and nurture the rule of law in this Commonwealth and in this nation, and to see in turn that justice endures,” he said, explaining that lawyers should perform their task in a way that is worthy of the public’s trust and respect.
Though he does not often get to talk about faith in the context of law, Capsalis told the students to remain proud of their faith. Faith and law are not contradictions like “jumbo shrimp,” he joked.
He also emphasized how impressed he is with LU’s law students — and LU’s students are giving people plenty of reasons to take notice. The school now ranks No. 2 in the state for passage rates on the Virginia Bar exam. At 94.4 percent, LU is just behind the University of Virginia (96.8). That score puts LU in the top 5 percent of all law schools in the country, according to school Dean Mat Staver.
“I intend for the Virginia State Bar, to the extent that we are asked to do so, to be as engaged as we can in taking advantage of … the talents you have here [at LU],” he said.
Earlier in the day, Capsalis met with the executive board of LU’s pre-law society, and the Helms School of Government hosted a lunch for him.
“As my [former] law school classmate, I was so pleased to have him on campus and be willing to spend the additional time speaking to the law school students,” said George E. Buzzy, dean of LU’s Helms School.
Liberty University School of Law opened in August 2004. With tracks in civil, criminal and constitutional litigation, as well as business planning, estate planning, real estate development and government administration, the school is equipping a generation of Christian leaders with skills that are on par with graduates of the nation’s top law schools.