PROGRESS STARTS With Us RIGHT HERE Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. —Arthur Ashe THE SUMMER HAS BEEN BUSY. OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF MONTHS I HAVE HAD SOME GREAT DIALOGUES WITH ATTORNEYS ACROSS THE STATE AND THE COUNTRY WHILE ATTENDING MEETINGS. I hope and expect the rich discussions will continue. There are many issues we face as lawyers impacting our practices and our communities. Some affect us nationally. Others affect us more locally. Taking the time to talk about the things that affect us—whether positively, negatively, or perhaps even more neutrally—helps us to better understand any cause and effect and to calculate the necessary actions and reactions to further affect more desirable outcomes. We must understand what affects us, determine whether or not we like the effect, and then determine what, if anything, we want to do and can do about it to better our relative position. It may be useful to understand how we got here. We can learn the history and discover the backstory. The desired change starts where we are. We should use the skills and the knowledge we possess to improve our conditions and to set a new course, heading in the direction we want to go. If we, as lawyers, do not work to improve our own condition, who will? We are in some of the best positions to help ourselves. We understand the impacts. We know our needs. We are equipped more often than not to do something to address the issues. And we certainly have the education and collective skill set to act. Let’s continue to work and dialogue together. Let’s navigate the course of our profession. I invite you to engage in the conversations we are having through our sections, our committees, and our members of the board of directors. I implore you to become a part of the discussion, and more importantly, a part of the creative team that develops the solutions and works toward improvement. We will do what we can. We will use what we have. We will start where we are. LISA TATUM President, State Bar of Texas
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