Smith celebrates journey from reporter to lawyer
From an early point in her career Stacee Smith was familiar with the workings of the legal system and courtrooms.
Back then she was a junior reporter for The Royal Gazette covering plea court and the Supreme Court.
She said her passion for writing and the law had taken her on a journey that had “been quite the adventure”.
She has conquered higher peaks in both spheres. Her words have appeared in international publications, including The Guardian newspaper in Britain, and she studied public international law at the University of Ottawa, Canada, and earned a law degree at Queen Mary University in London.
She was Called to the Bar before Chief Justice Narinder Hargun yesterday.
It was standing room only as family, friends and supporters filled the courtroom and heard parts of the adventure that brought her to the career milestone.
Leopold Mills, a barrister, told the court: “Ms Smith stands on the threshold of what I genuinely believe will be an outstanding and successful legal career.”
He spoke about her accomplishments as a writer, which included interviewing Bermudian actor Earl Cameron this year when he celebrated his 102nd birthday and her rhetorical flourishes when she wrote an article for The Guardian on the late Johnny Barnes many years ago.
Mr Mills said: “Ms Smith’s excellent writing skills will serve her well in her career at the Bar.”
He added that Ms Smith had also gained a wide range of experience in her pupillage at Walkers in Bermuda that will stand her in good stead in years to come.
Mr Mills evoked the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr and Robert F. Kennedy.
He said Dr King had challenged that people should dream the impossible dream.
Mr Mills added: “Ms Smith has not only dreamt of success she has achieved it, by dint of hard work, perseverance, by determination and by maintaining her focus.”
He also compared her accomplishments as an artist and writer to those of Mr Kennedy.
Mr Mills said: “I see, in Ms Smith, the same kind of dreamer, the same kind of person who looks for solutions to problems, that looks for ways to make what is, better.”
Cindy Clarke, a barrister and vice-president of the Bermuda Bar Council, praised Ms Smith’s resilience and said that she was the most resourceful pupil she had come across.
Ms Clarke predicted: “She will achieve great things.”
Ms Smith said she was honoured that Mr Mills had put forward her notice of motion, and that Ms Clarke had spoken at the ceremony.
She added that both were her cousins.
Ms Smith said: “I have found the legal field to be both fascinating and empowering. I have sought various opportunities to broaden my exposure to a range of areas of law.
“My path has certainly had its challenges, however, and I owe my ultimate gratitude to God.”
She said God had provided her with two nurturing parents, Carol and Richard, who provided a strong foundation for her to achieve and surpass her dreams.
Ms Smith said her father had provided wisdom, strength and support, and that her late mother was “an angel” who had been her best friend.
She added: “I know she is beaming with pride right now.”
Ms Smith also thanked her brothers, Tarik and Oronde, grandmother, Lillian Daniels, great-aunt Esther Smith, and other relatives and friends, and her church, for the support they had given her.
She gave special mention to Sherry Smith, who knew her mother and had “been there for me like a mother”.
Ms Smith said: “I have also been fortunate to have had mentors guide me along the way, some for specific periods and others throughout my journey.”
She thanked her university lecturers and other mentors who had assisted her, as well as those people who had given her a musical education and exposure.
She thanked the scholarship and bursary providers who had supported her journey, and the staff during her pupillage who had shared their knowledge and offered guidance.
Mr Justice Hargun welcomed Ms Smith to the Bar and said she had “well-rounded pupillage” and had worked hard to reach her goal.
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