New attorney following in mother’s footsteps

Shakisa Harvey (left) and her mother Justice Simone Morris-Ramlall

Following in her mother’s footsteps, 23-year-old Shakisa Olinda Harvey is among the newest admissions to the bar after graduating last Saturday from the Hugh Wooding Law School as an Attorney-at-Law.

The bubbly Harvey is the daughter of recently-appointed High Court Judge Justice Simone Morris-Ramlall.

Always certain of the career path she wanted to pursue, Harvey, who was called to the bar on Monday, said she has proven that determination, hard work and dedication truly pays off.

Presenting her petition before Madame Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George, attorney Abiola Wong-Inniss, to whose chambers Harvey is attached as an associate, described her as industrious.

Recalling Harvey’s in-service stints spent at her chambers during her vacations home from law school, Wong-Inniss said her performance was always exemplary.

The lawyer said that she was honoured not only to have been presenting Harvey’s petition, but more importantly to have her within the employ of her chambers, where her knowledge and expertise will make her an asset.

In her charge, the Chief Justice reminded the young attorney that she has “human precedents” to follow and admonished her to strive always for excellence. “Never settle for mediocrity,” the Chief Justice warned.

Harvey was encouraged to “be a lawyer’s, lawyer,” and to truly advocate for her clients, providing to them the best counsel always. Justice George cautioned that the sleepless nights will continue, and that the word “research” must always be her mantra.

Looking intently at the Chief Justice as she counseled her, the new lawyer heard that “service” to others and being a voice for the voiceless will be key to upholding the rule of law.

“You’re not aiming to be any lawyer or some lawyer, you are aiming for excellence,” Justice George said, “Be a leader… Aim to be famous and not infamous,” she added.

A former student of the Bishops’ High School like Harvey, Justice George said it is always an honour to admit students of her alma mater to the legal profession. She, however, noted that in Harvey’s case it was particularly memorable as it is the same date that she herself was admitted to the bar.

In her speech thanking the court for accepting her petition, Harvey, who became emotional and was moved to tears, also expressed gratitude for her mother’s unwavering support throughout her studies.

From a lengthy list which she said was by no means exhaustive, the young woman said she owes a debt of gratitude to everyone who played a part in her attaining her dream and noted that she shares her achievement with them all.

Recalling her stint as a reporter with the Stabroek News some years ago, Harvey said she was grateful for the opportunity of exposure to the courtroom, which she noted will no doubt be an asset for her career.

Harvey’s call to the Bar was witnessed by loved ones, friends and other well-wishers.

After attending the Bishops’ High School from 2010 to 2012, where she completed Sixth Form studies, Harvey moved on to the University of Guyana, where she read for, and attained her Bachelor of Law Degree in 2015. Thereafter, she attended the Trinidad-based Hugh Wooding Law School, where she was awarded her Legal Education Certificate (LEC).

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