Make A Difference ~ Message from DBA President Janet Drake

By Janet Drake

I’ve committed myself to a career in public service because I want to use my law degree to make a positive difference to individuals and the community. During the course of the next year, I encourage you to make a difference by actively participating in the Denver Bar Association. Attorneys have the unique skills and training to navigate the justice system in the pursuit of justice on behalf of people in crises. You can increase the public’s access to justice by taking pro bono cases for Metro Volunteer Lawyers. You can promote professionalism by mentoring a young lawyer or law student. You can improve the quality of the community by supporting a nonprofit with your time and/or your financial contributions. Your law degree is a powerful tool that can and should be used to serve others. Regardless of how you chose to make a difference, I urge you to answer this call to action.

Janet-608x400Over the next year, I intend to spotlight some Denver nonprofits that are making a difference. Each month, The Docket will focus on different topics and will offer you ways to engage with the DBA and the Denver community. I welcome your suggestions and invite you to share your ideas with me and the other Denver Bar Association members.

This month, we celebrate attorneys who have creative talents in art, poetry and literature. I hope that you will join me for the DBA Art Party on September 17 at the Mike Wright Gallery.

I keep the following words framed in my office as a reminder to find peace and beauty despite the adversarial nature of litigation:

“Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become bitter or vain, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.”

From the Writings of Max Ehrmann, 1927

Previously published in The Docket.

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