No excuses

Bernstein inspires WMU-Cooley law students

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein spoke during WMU-Cooley Law School's "Integrity In Our Communities Speaker Series" on March 5, and described his journey to the bench and overcoming obstacles, without excuses.

During his presentation, Bernstein inspired a full house of WMU-Cooley students, faculty, and staff, speaking about how his own struggles and accomplishments have made him a much stronger and empathetic human being. He spoke to the audience about how a catastrophic collision with a speeding cyclist in New York's Central Park, which left him hospitalized for 10 weeks, inspired him to run his 18th marathon in New York City.

"The pain was going to be so intense that my goal was just to finish. It was the idea of adapting to your new body, fighting pain, challenging pain, but most importantly, never letting the pain get the better of you," said Bernstein. "Every one of us has an internal struggle that exists within our own souls, our own spirits, and our own bodies. You come to find that when it gets to be the most severe, the most intense, you come to realize that that's where you tend to find your peace."

Bernstein represented the Paralyzed Veterans of America in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice, in an action, which helped establish guidelines for access by disabled individuals that are used by all commercial facilities across the country.

He recently made history when he was sworn in as the Michigan Supreme Court's first blind justice.

He began his career in the law offices of Sam Bernstein after graduating from Northwestern University School of Law.

Along with his legal career, he serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan and Wayne State University.

Published: Thu, Mar 12, 2015

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