As this issue lands in your mailboxes, we will all be reflecting on another election season. Some of us will be celebrating, while others may agonize over the result.
Results aside, I hope we can all reflect on one thing—we stand free because of the people who took the time to vote and support this wonderful republic. We stand free because we are all seeking an education that inherently forces us to engage in the political discourse. We stand free because lawyers, as ABA President Laurel Bellows stated at the Annual Meeting in Chicago, “matter.” Lawyers matter because we have the ability to shape our society as much as the politicians in Washington.
While giving a lecture, Abraham Lincoln once said, “Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser—in fees, expenses, and waste of time. As a peacemaker, the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.”
Today, President Lincoln’s quote still rings true. We, as lawyers and law students, are consistently called upon to lead our society. Although litigation and other fees are our source of income, and turbulent economic times continue to plague the job market, we still strive for more. We strive for more by voting, campaigning for our respective candidate, and by being a part of the ABA—an organization that has promoted equality, justice, and the rule of law for well over a century.
As the Law Student Division Representative to the ABA Board of Governors, I can honestly say the ABA continues to address the concerns of law students and our changing profession by forming the Task Force on the Future of Legal Education. Furthermore, in her address, Bellows addressed the needs of our transforming profession and reminded law students to look beyond the traditional marketplace.
Although difficult times are upon us, the American Bar Association is continuing to move the profession forward for us all. I encourage you to be actively engaged in the ABA and help move the profession forward with us.