A packed courtroom looked on last Friday as Attorney General Sam Bulgin called Clyte Doreen Linwood to the Cayman Islands Bar as an Attorney-at-Law.
She marked the milestone in good company, with Chief Secretary George McCarthy, Deputy Head of the Civil Service Peter Gough, Solicitor General Cheryll Richards and Chief Officer Designate of the Civil Service Mary Rodrigues joining a large contingent of family, friends and members of the legal fraternity for the occasion.
In accepting her application to practice law in the Cayman Islands, Justice Lloyd Hibbert spoke warmly of Ms Linwood’s popularity across a broad cross section of the community.
Mr. Bulgin said he was satisfied Ms Linwood met the requisite standards and requirements to be called to the bar as an Attorney-at-Law. He explained Ms Linwood’s achievements included a Teaching Degree, a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and an MBA.
‘Because of her belief in ongoing self-development, she enrolled at the Cayman Islands Law School on a part-time basis, commencing in 1998,’ explained Mr. Bulgin. ‘She straddled full-time work and school during her studies and with her many responsibilities besides school, she was able to maintain good grades and successfully graduated with Honours in 2004,’ he said.
Ms Linwood has since completed the 18 month prescribed period of Articleship with the Legal Department, and through her work and conduct has demonstrated her readiness to be admitted as an Attorney-at-Law, he said.
Mr. Bulgin told the courtroom Ms Linwood would be staying on in the Civil Service as Executive Director of the Appeals Commission, a new quasi-judicial body in the Government.
‘I have no doubt that she will be a valuable asset to the Commission and I am confident that she will properly utilise the skills which she has so ably developed as a result of her training with us.’
Ms Linwood said the event marked a significant milestone in her life, but it brought with it great responsibilities and expectations.
‘I know that I am not simply being issued a ticket of admission to an exclusive club, but rather, I am about to be given the opportunity to undertake a sacred obligation to those who have gone before me and to those who will follow after me and I take these responsibilities seriously.’
She paid tribute to colleagues in the Legal Department, particularly Mr. Bulgin and Mrs. Richards, and also the Cayman Islands Government for supporting her over the years. She thanked Mr. McCarthy, Mr. Gough, Mrs. Rodrigues, Graham Wood and Colin Ross (now retired), who she said had always supported her personal decision to pursue ongoing development.
After thanking sons Richard and Ryan for their love and pride in her achievement, she took a moment to remind them the importance of education. ‘Education is not preparation for life – education is life,’ she said.
She told those gathered she wanted to answer a question she was so often asked – how she could be bothered taking on new educational challenges at the stage of life she was in.
‘God has entrusted us with ourselves and not only are we responsible for our lives, but doing the best at this moment puts us in the best place for the next moment. I believe that the biggest human temptation is to settle for too little.
‘Instead of giving myself reasons why I can’t, I give myself reasons why I can. I believe that life loses its dynamism from the moment we lose the passion with which to live it. We have the power to dream big dreams, to be what we want to be, and if the moment seems inappropriate it is only because we are afraid of the difficulties to come.’
Ms Linwood is among several recent bar appointees that have completed articles in the Legal Department. Others include Ms Jenesha Bhoorasingh, Mrs. Jody Powery-Gilbert and Mr. Richard Barton Jr.