Judge Rosemarie Aquilina speaks at International Women's Day luncheon

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The Hon. Rosemarie Aquilina of Ingham County’s 30th Circuit Court was the featured speaker during the March 8 International Women’s Day Luncheon at WMU-Cooley Law School’s Lansing campus. The event was sponsored by the law school’s members of the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan.

Hai Bui, a WMU-Cooley student currently enrolled in Aquilina's Family Law class, provided introductory remarks about the judge.

“Throughout her life, her accomplishments sent ripples of positive change towards the progressive movement of equality. Recently, her craft was showcased in a paramount case in which she gave voice to women who had voices, but didn’t know how to use them,” Bui said. “You can’t counterfeit integrity or virtue and this woman is a woman of both. She encourages her students to do magnificent things because she believes that we can. Her successes are quiet, but the results make history.”  

During her presentation, Aquilina told those in attendance to stand up for their beliefs and to use their voices to make a difference.

“That is one of the joys of being a lawyer, that voice, for yourself first and foremost, and then for others. Never forget that mission; never lose that voice,” Aquilina said. “It is kryptonite to the rest of the world. It is absolute power to you. Use it wisely and use it well, and remember that you define yourself.”

Aquilina emphasized the importance of attorneys’ ability to advocate for clients and be their voice in the courtroom.

“As a lawyer, you have the gift of speaking for those who can’t. You have the gift of being part of changing victims into survivors,” she said.

Aquilina also discussed overcoming stigma by embracing one’s accomplishments, maintaining individuality while growing in the legal profession and doing what is right regardless of others’ perceptions, or fear of rejection.