CHARLESTOWN NEVIS)-On the morning of Friday, November, 17, 2017, Ms. Krysta Liburd-Clarke, Attorney-at-law was admitted to the Bar of St. Kitts and Nevis. She hails from the village of Church Ground in the parish of St. John’s, Nevis.
Attorney at law, Mrs. Myrna Walwyn put forth the application for the applicant before Her Ladyship, Justice Lorraine Williams. She pointed out, that Liburd had obtained her Bachelor of Laws from the University of the West Indies in Barbados and at the Normal Manley Law School in Jamaica. Therefore, she had met the requirements to be admitted to the Bar. Walwyn indicated that Liburd lost her mother when she was just seven years old and she has shown great strength and character over the years despite her loss at such an early age. She also stated that Liburd was a part of the Nevis Literary Debating Society and took Nevis to the final in 2010. She said that they lost by a mere one point.
Father of the applicant and Attorney at law Mr. Herman Liburd also gave some words on Clarke’s behalf. Liburd said that usually when he stood up to speak in the position he was at, it had to do with making some money. However, he noted that the occasion wasn’t about making money but to ensure that the applicant was called to the Bar. He pointed out, that Krysta came to live with him at the age of seven after her mom had passed away. He indicated that she was a very obedient child who always listened and took talking to. Liburd said that the applicant seemed to have known what she had wanted from a very tender age, as she always showed interest in the law. He said part of it may have been because he himself is a lawyer.
The applicant Ms. Krysta Liburd-Clarke also eloquently addressed the Court. She noted that she was truly humbled to have been admitted to the Bar of St. Kitts and Nevis. She stated that it was not a right to be a lawyer, but a privilege and she was honored to be a part of such a distinguished and noble profession. Clarke indicated that she was very happy to have had family members and relatives present in Court.
However, she indicated that she was also mindful of those who were there not in person but in spirit. She said that some of those family members’ candles were blown out a few years ago, but she knew that they looked down on her with great pride. Clarke said that although her mom Birlyn Clarke passed away when she was only seven years old, she always found comfort in her arms.
Krysta also spoke about her friends and those who were with her from the beginning of her journey. She noted that Mickia Mills, Chris Liburd Crios Freeman and Michelle Slack must be applauded. Special mention was also made of those who journeyed with her through school.
Her Ladyship also praised the young lawyer and gave her some words of advice. She indicated to her that she will have to prepare herself well for cases and at times it will be very time consuming. Therefore, a lot of hours will have to be spent preparing for such. She also told Clarke to always respect her colleagues and she must seek to practice fair at all times. Her Ladyship told her that at the end of it all, her integrity means more than anything else and she must to everything she can to ensure that her character is in good standing. In closing, Her Ladyship encouraged Clarke to do her best and that she was very proud of her.
(This is the excerpt of Krysta’s Speech)
“May it please you M’lady. I rise this morning firstly to record my sincerest gratitude to this Honorable Court for accepting my application to be admitted to the bar of St. Christopher and Nevis. I wish to also thank my learned seniors, Ms. Myrna Walwyn and my father Mr. Herman Liburd for moving the application to permit me to address this Honorable Court today.
I am indeed humbled and privileged to rise today as the newest member of this most noble and esteemed profession.
Many have asked me why law? All I can offer is a question in response. Can one really avoid the clutches of the law when we are born, schooled and raised in and around it? You see law is so intricately interwoven in all facets of this life and indeed, about ten summers ago, it beckoned and I accepted its call by reporting to the Chambers of Liburd and Dash at Government Road to begin the journey of the rest of my life.
M’lady, permit me to publicly record my eternal gratitude to those seated within the walls of this Honorable Court who have helped to shape and influence the person that I am today. Some are here in the flesh but there are those whose candles have long since burnt out but who’s legend never will.
It is my fervent hope that my mother, who is set outside this earthly realm, but who I feel closely connected to, is beaming with pride and admiration. Although our time together on this earth was relatively short, I am eternally grateful for her example and for the values she instilled in me from a very tender age which have stuck with me and have enabled me to face the many adversities of my academic and personal life.
I have rested in her comforting arms when I was weary, leaned on her shoulders when I was weak and soaked her garments with tears when I needed to cry out the frustrations of this journey. I am indebted to her for nurturing my love for reading and writing from as far back as I can remember. This skill has helped me to navigate the many legal text books, judgments and study material that I often considered myself swamped with throughout my academic journey. Today M’lady, I dedicate every success and everything that I have ever achieved in this life, to the blessed memory of the late Birlyn Catherine Clarke. May she ever grow in my heart.
Speaking of our dearly departed, I must mention my cousin Dylon Clarke of whom I have fond childhood memories. Because of him, I rise every day with renewed vigor to champion the cause of justice for those who cannot help themselves.
I wish to thank my father who I can now proudly refer to as my learned senior. I am all that I am today because of your unending love and support and of course, the tough lessons you have taught. You gave me everything that you could possibly give to me – your time, your resources, your patience, your love. You instilled in me what I believe to be, core characteristics of this life, through your own example – thoughtfulness, respect, humility, charity, social responsibility and taught me the value of hard work, and adequate and thorough preparation. M’lady while these are debts that I can never repay, I can only strive to emulate my father’s dedication to and passion for the practice of law.
To my stepmother Joslyn and my sister Azure-Dee who flew just under 2000 miles to be here today, my prayer warrior and biggest cheerleader respectively. Your prayers, advice, encouragement and support throughout my journey to this moment when friends and support were few and far between, will forever remain with me. For this love and for this unbreakable bond, I am forever grateful.
To my immediate and extended maternal and paternal family particularly my aunts, uncles and my cousins who are here today, I am often told that your pride in me radiates whenever you speak of me and for that alone I am thankful. My success belongs to every one of you. For every good and encouraging word you spoke, for every whisper of prayer, for your constant and unwavering support, these are the fruits of our labour.
To my learned senior Ms. Walwyn – Not only have you consented to moving my application, but over the course of the years you have willingly and graciously helped to mold and shape my professional and personal life. You have allowed me to sit at your feet when your tutelage was required and at your desk when your sage advice, professional and personal was necessary. Like a lamb who needs the Shepherd
at your side I’ll always stay.
M’lady permit me to make special mention of my colleagues and class mates singly. Crios Freeman, Lanein Blanchette, Amina Byron, Britney Jeffers, JeNise Carty, Cherise Archibald and Danni Maynard. We journeyed to Cave Hill in 2012 and then on to Norman Manley, 8 strong. One of the largest law contingents from the Federation that both schools have ever seen. We were all not familiar with each other prior to meeting at Cave Hill due to our varying age ranges, however, as life would have it, the storms of University forced us to bind together. We found strength in each other when the assignments, exam preparation, and all of the other hardships of Law school beat down on us. I certainly would not be here without their support and assistance. Today I charge you all to endeavor to uphold the professional and ethical standards that guide this profession. Champion your respective causes honorably and respectfully and always, always stand up for what is right and just.
M’lady it is said that the greatest gift of life is friendship. Today I can testify to this because I have received it. Special mention must be made of my learned colleagues who I am equally proud to call my friends – Kris Liburd, Mickia Mills and Crios Freeman whose wise counsel and companionship I am eternally grateful for.
Also to my friends who are here today I express sincere gratitude for your love and support throughout the years.
To the Staff at Liburd and Dash both past and present and particularly Ms. Jessica Clarke. I wish to record my heartfelt appreciation for the administrative assistance that you have lent me over the course of my years studying. Whether it was sourcing precedents and legislation or compiling my course material or keeping my personal affairs in order in my absence, you always came through for me in a timely and efficient manner. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
I wish to thank my seniors at the bar present here today, for taking the time out of their busy schedules to witness this occasion. I must make special mention of Mrs. Asure-Dee Liburd Browne who assisted with my Law School application by agreeing to be one of my SUPPORTERS. Ms. Michelle Slack, who first-marked most of my law school assignments to ensure that they were A worthy and Mrs. Dahlia Joseph-Rowe, who always took the time out to give an encouraging word.
To my teachers at the Charlestown Preparatory School now Maude Crosse Prep, the Prospect Primary School now the Ivor Walters Primary School and the Charlestown Secondary School and Nevis Sixth Form College, who helped to set me on the path of academic righteousness, I express heartfelt appreciation for your time and efforts and for your belief in my potential even when I could not see it. It will be remiss of me not to mention my lecturers and tutors at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill and the Norman Manley Law School without whose expert guidance I would not be standing here today, particularly the Honorable Mr. Justice C. Dennis Morrison, Ms. Dorcas White, Mrs. Audrey Welds, Ms. Yolande Whitely and Mr. Kurt Rattray. I wish to thank them for their invaluable guidance.
To the members of the wider community, family friends and well-wishers at home and abroad, who have given their offerings of prayer and words of encouragement, I express sincerest gratitude.
As I celebrate my personal and academic achievements, I pause to acknowledge the generosity and thoughtfulness of good corporate citizens like all of my sponsors and particularly the law firm of Kelsick, Wilkin and Ferdinand, who continue to show a keen interest in the academic and career development of graduates of the Norman Manley Law School. I express my sincere appreciation to the partners and staff of the firm, for the graduation prize awarded to me.
M’lady, I am cognizant that although this moment may be the ceremonial beginning of my legal career, it is certainly not the end of my legal training. To the contrary, this moment marks the beginning of a lifetime of learning of the law.
I recognize that being able to practice as an Attorney at law is not a right but a privilege and with this robe comes special duties:
That is, a duty to the COURT to assist it with achieving its overriding objective of dealing with cases justly, a duty to my CLIENTS to conduct their matters with due care and competence and to deal with them fairly and honestly, a duty to this PROFESSION to uphold the Code of Ethics by which we are guided.
With this robe, comes a platform for effecting social change and legislative reform by lending my voice to the legislative process to ensure that current and proposed laws are rationally connected to their objective and are fair and meet the needs of our community.
With this robe, comes a responsibility to share with my colleagues in the advancement of the judicial process and the development of our Caribbean jurisprudence.
With this robe, comes an opportunity to ensure that justice is accessible to all in our communities and indeed a RESPONSIBILITY to represent the underrepresented in our communities.
With this robe, comes a continuing responsibility to uphold the core principles of justice and the rule of law.
Indeed M’lady, I understand and accept the duties and responsibilities that come with this robe.
Today, as I embark upon what I hope to be a long and fruitful career, I am reminded of the prayer by lawyer and philosopher Saint Thomas More which is quite fitting for this occasion. PRAY that, for the glory of GOD and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever
attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients’ tales. Read with me in my library and stand always
beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul.
To God be the Glory; Great things he has done!
May it so please your Ladyship.”