Allan K. Dubois 2015-11-26 01:21:54
Seasonal Reflections December is an inspirational month marked by celebrations that often center on Santa Claus—the legendary figure charged with making dreams come true for young and old who serves as a metaphor for joy and giving. “Santa” has a special meaning for me this year. I will have the opportunity to stand in for him at a holiday party for State Bar of Texas staff members and their families. Each year, the first floor of the Texas Law Center is filled with the laughter of children who are dressed in their holiday finest and eager to share their highlights of the past 12 months. There is a magical spirit of community among co-workers who spend immeasurable hours together to ensure that the State Bar successfully serves its mission to Texas lawyers and the public. My wife, Pam, and I have come to cherish this annual event because it personifies all that is good about the governance and administration of the bar: the wonderful staff. We now feel that they are part of our large family. Lawyers throughout Texas are part of this spirit of community. Now halfway through my presidential term, I have witnessed firsthand the positive engagement and contributions of attorneys throughout the state. Texas lawyers have achieved hours and hours of pro bono activities; mentored countless law students; worked at Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans and other pro bono clinics; educated elementary and high school children through Law-Related Education programs; tackled community service projects, including building homes for low-income families and contributing to public outreach efforts such as People’s Law School events and LegalLine; and organized athletic challenges to raise proceeds for nonprofit endeavors. Texas attorneys also have responded generously to my campaign to support the Sheeran-Crowley Memorial Trust for substance abuse, depression, or other mental health treatment. Holiday events hosted by local bar associations similarly celebrate Texas lawyers’ spirit of service and community. To become involved and ensure that you are part of the celebration, go to texasbar.com and on the For Lawyers drop-down menu, select Bar Service Opportunities. The more the merrier! The holidays are a time to reminisce and experience traditions. The DuBois crew attends an early mass on Christmas Eve, opens one “practical” gift that evening (typically new pajamas that promote great photos the next morning), leaves cookies and milk out for Santa, and goes to sleep anticipating gift opening (one present at a time in rotation, starting with youngest). Recent years have brought four generations together on Christmas morning. Many will share my gratitude for the blessings showered over our families, neighbors, and colleagues—but let’s not forget the many Texans who rarely experience the joy and giving of Santa Claus and have little reason to hope. As a profession, let’s generously embrace the many good causes that support the elderly, children, struggling single parents, families of deployed service members, veterans, and those in need. If all Texas attorneys would do just one additional act of giving during this holiday season, almost 100,000 less fortunate Texans would be helped, and my Christmas wish—for every Texas attorney to have one more reason to celebrate by making the world a better place through an individual act of generosity—would come true. Happy Holidays from our family to yours!
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