Pro Bono

Bentley Photos Are Props in Willie Gary’s High School Motivational Speech


Trial lawyer Willie Gary didn’t have to warn students at a Florida high school that they could end up living in a van down by the river in a motivational speech he gave on Wednesday.

Students showed their enthusiasm before Gary even began his speech, Jacksonville.com reports. A marching band played songs. A video of Gary’s accomplishments showed a fleet of his Bentleys and private planes. Students “clapped enthusiastically.”

“You’re in a position to do greater things than what you saw on the video,” Gary told the students. “You can do more, you can have more, but you got to want it … and you got to be serious about it.”

According to an account of the speech by News4Jax.com, “Students were initially wowed by his wealth, but it was his message of determination that really struck a chord.”

Gary told students he was born in a cotton field to sharecropping parents with little education, according to the Jacksonville.com account. “It didn’t stop me,” he said, “because I wanted to be somebody. Don’t you tell me you can’t make it. Don’t you tell me you can’t get it done.”

Gary is fighting a lawsuit by a former legal secretary who claims he raped her; Gary says the sex was consensual. A trial judge has dismissed two racketeering counts in the suit.

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