Late Friday afternoon, in a small, sleepy, windowless fourth-floor courtroom at the New Haven State Superior Court, an official cried, “Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!,” as Judge Omar Williams arrived from Hartford to conduct the final business of the week. Williams looked out upon two rows of pew-like wooden benches, all of them filled, and informed the public that the court had received word from the state that Reginald Dwayne Betts, age thirty-seven, had been “successfully” approved to practice law in Connecticut. Williams then described the “honor” he felt at “being here today.” Referring to law as “a calling,” the judge said that Betts was “an inspiration.” Betts had trimmed his beard and wore a crisp blue suit over his stocky frame for an event that had the feel of a wedding. He was required to raise his right hand and swear that he’d do nothing dishonest, for personal gain or …
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