In 2020, the San Antonio Bar Association celebrates 122 years of serving lawyers by providing timely information, topical CLE and celebrating legal milestones both historical and local. The death of George Floyd this past week and the protests that have followed have exposed a national wound – one that has been difficult to bandage or heal.
As lawyers, we have studied the constitution, the words of which have been used both to oppress and to combat oppression. Attorneys appreciate the power of well-written legislation and case law. As lawyers, we should have a profound respect for the power of citizen protest – for we have studied it as the beginning of cultural, systemic and legal changes in our communities. Brown v. Board of Education. The Civil Rights Act of 1964. These difficult chapters in our nation’s legal history did not happen overnight. They began with citizens protesting, and using the legal system to create change.
SABA is a community that is known throughout Texas for our collegial fellowship. While we may be adversaries in the courtroom, we are friends in the courthouse hallways. But let’s not let our personal fondness for one another prevent us from having an uncomfortable, but necessary, conversation on race in America.
Mind you, I am not suggesting that a conversation by itself is a solution, but it is start. What should we, as a bar association, be doing to help our community during this time? We are interested in hearing from you. I invite anyone who wants to help shape our leadership as a legal community on these issues to contact us by email to JuneM@sabar.org and email@example.com. Together we can do our part to improve our community.
While there will always be a scar, we hope that we can say to our children and grandchildren that we used our privilege of education, wisdom and talent to help heal a long and ugly history and brought justice and peace to suffering communities.