Larry Bathgate swore me into the New Jersey Bar this morning. I told him we had to do it quickly, before they learned of their mistake. Only God knows how I passed the bar exam; maybe the grader felt pity for me. Here is a picture of us just before the ceremony:

I had to make the following an oath for the New Jersey Bar:

I, William F. Merlin, Jr., do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United State and the Constitution of the State of New Jersey; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same and to the Governments established in the United States and in this State, under the authority of the people; and that I will perform the duties of an attorney at law faithfully, impartially, and justly, to the best of my ability.

The New Jersey Bar also has an aspiration pledge:

In accepting the honor and responsibility of life in the profession of law, I will strive, as best I can:

* To work always with care, and with a whole heart and with good faith;
* To weigh conflicting loyalties and guide my work with an eye to what is good, acting less for myself than for justice and the people;
* To be at all times, even at personal sacrifice, a champion of due process, in court or not, for all persons, whether they be powerful or envied, or are my neighbors, or be among the helpless, hated, or oppressed; and,
* To serve, protect, foster and promote the fair and impartial administration of justice.

I talked with a former public adjuster turned attorney, Andrew Fuxa, this morning. He told me it was a lot easier being a public adjuster than an attorney. He previously thought insurance company money flowed after policyholder attorneys filed lawsuits. I wish.

I enjoy being an attorney. I feel humbled and honored to be able to help others. It is fantastic that I get paid for doing this work. But it is not easy. I try to do it right to the best of my abilities and uphold these promises to my clients and society.

Today, I am the happiest attorney in New Jersey.