By Indira Singh
Tomorrow-Today Copy Editor
Walking into the Heflin-Torbert Judicial Building on a cold and sunny day in downtown Montgomery, the officers and the youth justices of the Alabama Supreme Court were greeted by the buildings’ docents, who shared its unique history and construction. Constructed from the same marble Michaelangelo used in his sculptures, the spectacular interior of the rotunda is tied together at the room’s center with a steel plate in the shape of Alabama.
Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Parker met the officers and youth justices as they proceeded from the rotunda and made it a priority to learn everyone’s name and their schools. Parker went on to share his experience of being the 1969 Speaker of the House for the YMCA Youth in Government program, which he cited as his reason to get involved in government. The program gave him the training and orientation he needed to succeed in his efforts to become a part of the judicial system.
Parker was inspired by his Youth Legislature experience to pay forward invaluable opportunities and experiences by creating unique internships available to students in law school. He believes in “sowing back into the system” and preparing the youth to become the new faces of the government, he said.
Parker said he never dreamed that he would be chief justice when he began his legal career, but one of his biggest life lessons was learning to step up and become the leader others need you to be.
He advised the youth justices to continue to perform to the best of their abilities, to listen closely to the arguments made, listen to your colleagues and study the briefs and to go beyond. Parker said these are the keys of success for being a good and fair justice. His final and most important piece of advice for the youth Supreme Court was to listen to the wisdom of the multitude of the council and to trust in one another as they were each other’s best resources in their paths to success.