Federal Judge Thomas B. Griffith imparts wisdom at David M. Kennedy Center


By: Mitch Staley

Thomas B. Griffith, a federal judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit, took part in a career lecture series, “Career Reflections: The Judiciary,” on Thursday. Judge Griffith is a 1978 graduate of BYU where he studied humanities with an emphasis in comparative literature.

The Appellate Court judge, who serves on one of 12 U.S. Court of Appeals, told students about his career and details of what a judge’s job entails.

“My resume has a certain staccato feel to it,” said Griffith referring to several positions he has held in the public and private sector. Such positions include former legal counsel to BYU and chief legal counsel to the United States Senate. “If you like to read and to write, it’s a great place to be.”

Judge Griffith shared four pieces of advice for students: 1. Be nice to people.

“You never know who the people you deal with now are going to be,” Griffith said.

2. Pay attention to detail.

“The good things have all come when I took my time and did the hard work to get the right answer.”

3. Learn to write, think and speak clearly.

“Bad news … it takes time. Get better at it.”

4. Build the Kingdom.

“See if you can find, in your motivation for your work, the Atonement of Christ.”

Judge Griffith, a former stake president, serves a life-time appointment to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit.

Griffith’s speech can be found on video in full on the David M. Kennedy Center’s website, kennedy.byu.edu.

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