Can We Skip to the Good Part?

In a blink, the 2021-2022 bar year is half over. It has been such an honor to serve each of you and I am so proud of our TYLA board. We met in Austin in November and created content for so many of our initiatives. After a year and a half of being virtual, we continued to catch up with each other, share our triumphs and struggles, and find new ways to support each other and our colleagues. Entrepreneur Pamela Benson Owens led our board through a training on civility, empathy, and intentional growth as individuals and a profession. Through her interactive approach, we had the opportunity to listen to each other in new ways and bring new perspectives to our service. We are excited to incorporate her training in our projects this year.

In November, we hosted a panel on civility from the judicial perspective. We were honored to hear from Texas Supreme Court Justices Debra Lehrmann, Jeffrey Boyd, and Jane Bland and Judge Lora Livingston, of the 261st Civil District Court in Austin. There were several moments where I felt a weight lifted from my shoulders, because these leaders told us wellness and civility are important. I cannot wait to share their perspectives and advice through our civility hub, which launches this year.

As we reflect on the past, we must continue advancements for our clients and our profession. This responsibility can be overwhelming, but we can take a page from Adele and go easy on ourselves and others. When we treat each other well and we are good to ourselves, we make the practice of law better for everyone. Since last month, hopefully you’ve visited texaslawyercare.tyla.org, our wellness hub created under the leadership of Past President Victor A. Flores and Immediate Past President Britney Harrison with the help of the Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program. Keep an eye out for our Wellness Committee’s new resources for lawyers and law students on managing anxiety in group settings and facing different types of trauma in the practice of law.

November 20 marked National Adoption Day. TYLA celebrated the day and the holiday season in general through several initiatives for adopting and fostering families. Our board members donated literally heaps of books and toys to Helping Hand Home for Children in Austin. HHH provides a safe haven for children healing from abuse, neglect, or abandonment. The children were able to give these gifts to each other, and they received over 90 holiday cards our board decorated. I am beyond grateful for my adoption and this incredibly fulfilling opportunity to create projects to help foster families, foster children, and adoptive families. Professor and New York Times best-selling author Brené Brown believes “there is no joy without gratitude.” I believe there is something inherently joyful in both gratitude and service.

I don’t know about you, but I have a feeling 2022 will be a great year. No, we can’t skip to the good parts or guarantee a good year, regardless of how many black-eyed peas we eat. I don’t want to skip to the end and miss the fun little moments or the meaningful hard ones. I’m not making any resolutions this year, but in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day this month, I’ve been particularly inspired by these two quotes:

“We achieve more when we chase the dream instead of the competition.”
Together is Better, by Simon Sinek

“We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.”
—“I Have a Dream” speech, August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr.

Jeanine Novosad Rispoli
2021-2022 President, Texas Young Lawyers Association

For more information on TYLA, contact them at tyla@texasbar.com or go to tyla.org.


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