Official Magazine of the Denver Bar Association

A Reflection On A Great Year

 

t has been an amazing year. I want to thank each of you for allowing me to serve as your president. It has been a highlight of my career. I have been fortunate to meet, collaborate with, and learn from so many of you this year. Thank you for making this term special and rewarding.

One of many highlights has been the opportunity to communicate with you through these messages and interviews with several of our colleagues. If you recall, I started this term with an open letter telling you more about my journey (“From There to Here”). Unexpectedly, I received scores of welcoming responses. Many of you shared your own experiences and stories with me. I was so moved that several of your responses were included in the next president’s message (“Wow! Thank you!”). Importantly, I learned that, no matter our unique paths, we all share much in common.

The next messages involved themes that I hope transcended the law and addressed our lives. One discussed those lessons of both life and law, including the universal truths that we must not fear adversity and we should continually challenge ourselves (“The Journey Thus Far: Reflections on Law and Life”). The following message discussed how we as lawyers should set our individual pathways to achieve success, including the importance of defining what success means to you (“What Every Lawyer Should Know About Achieving Success”).

Equally important, the next message raised the issue of dealing with and overcoming setbacks. Always remember to learn what you can from a setback and then move on (“What Every Lawyer Should Know About Setbacks”). The most immediate past message addressed those quintessential attributes of great lawyers and how they actually have little to do with the practice of law, such as discipline and selflessness (“Could It Be That a Lawyer’s Best Attributes Have Nothing To Do With the Practice of Law?”).

As you can tell by now, I see our profession and legal community beyond the practice of law itself. It is about our respective journeys through life and our ability to learn and grow along the way. We just happened to choose law as our profession. I hope this resonated in the interviews over the last year, which certainly involved lawyers, but raised more about their backgrounds and experiences as people.

We talked to Charles Casteel, the first African-American president of the DBA, and got his perspective over 42 years of practicing law. We also heard from Justice Richard Gabriel and his unique path from Brooklyn, New York to the Colorado Supreme Court. We talked to Judge Christine Arguello, the first Hispanic judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, about her story from a small town in Colorado to the bench.

The next interview was with Stephanie Donner, this year’s recipient of the Richard Marden Davis award, who has accomplished much as a young lawyer and given a lot to her community. We also learned from Patrick Flaherty, the first openly gay executive director of the DBA, about his vision for our organization and the importance of inclusion. Finally, in this edition, we hear from Yvette Lewis-Molock, an in house attorney, about her unique path from school desegregation in Denver to attending law school with two small children. From these interviews, I learned we all have unique paths and challenges ‘from there to here.’

Finally, I want to conclude by thanking the DBA staff and board of trustees, who help run and steer this great organization. The DBA is in excellent hands next year under the leadership of Maureen “Mo” Watson. I have enjoyed working with Mo over the last several years and she has my full support.

It’s been a pleasure. Thank you!

*All of the past president messages and interviews are archived at dbadocket.org. D

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