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Released on Feb 19, 2024
Monday Morning Message 2.19.24 27 Presidents

"I desire so to conduct the affairs of this administration that if at the end, when I come to lay down the reins of power, I have lost every other friend on earth, I shall at least have one friend left, and that friend shall be down inside me." – President Abraham Lincoln

With all due respect to America’s doctors, dentists, nurses, engineers, architects, and business executives, no profession is more responsible for producing America’s local, state, and national leaders than the legal profession.

No profession is more common among U.S. Presidents and among those who founded our country.

  • 27 of our nation’s 45 presidents have been lawyers.
  • 25 of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were lawyers.
  • 32 of the 55 framers of the Constitution were lawyers.

So, on this President’s Day, as we approach a presidential election, I’m sharing quotes from some of our 27 Presidents who were lawyers. Five of them – Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, and William Howard Taft, passed the Ohio Bar Exam and/or practiced law in Ohio.

  • "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." —John Adams
  • ”In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand still like the rock.” —Thomas Jefferson
  • "We must support our rights or lose our character, and with it, perhaps, our liberties." —James Monroe
  • “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.” –John Quincy Adams
  • “It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn’t.” —Martin Van Buren
  • “The storm of frenzy and faction must inevitably dash itself in vain against the unshaken rock of the Constitution.” –Franklin Pierce
  • "The test of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there." — James Buchanan
  • It is now true that this is God’s Country, if equal rights - a fair start and an equal chance in the race of life - are everywhere secured to all.” - Rutherford B. Hayes
  • We cannot overestimate the fervent love of liberty, the intelligent courage, and the sum of common sense with which our fathers made the great experiment of self-government.” - James A. Garfield
  • "In the time of darkest defeat, victory may be nearest." — William McKinley
  • "If you will think about what you ought to do for other people, your character will take care of itself.”– Woodrow Wilson
  •  "If you see ten troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you." — Calvin Coolidge
  • We have faith that future generations will know here, in the middle of the twentieth century, there came a time when men of good will found a way to unite, and produce, and fight to destroy the forces of ignorance, and intolerance, and slavery, and war.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • "We are bound together by the most powerful of all ties, our fervent love for freedom and independence, which knows no homeland but the human heart." — Gerald Ford
  • “There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right with America.” -William Jefferson Clinton
  • "All of us share this world for but a brief moment in time. The question is whether we spend that time focused on what pushes us apart, or whether we commit ourselves to an effort — a sustained effort — to find common ground, to focus on the future we seek for our children, and to respect the dignity of all human beings." — Barack Obama 

At CSU|LAW, we seek to educate those who aspire not only to be great lawyers but also great leaders. 

Have a great day. Have a great week.

The views and opinions expressed in my Monday Morning Message are solely my own and do not reflect the views and opinions of the law school or the university.

My best,

Lee

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