The Future Is Friendly

This month I’m marching forward, pun intended, celebrating Women’s History Month, International Women’s Day on March 8, International Day of Happiness and the beginning of spring on March 20, and National Common Courtesy Day on March 21. Don’t fret if you aren’t female; everyone is welcome to celebrate!

In the foreword that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s book Scalia Speaks, she said this: “If our friendship encourages others to appreciate that some very good people have ideas with which we disagree, and that, despite differences, people of goodwill can pull together for the well-being of the institutions we serve and our country, I will be overjoyed, as I am confident Justice Scalia would be.” Justice Sandra Day O’Connor also wrote about the importance of civility, saying, “Unfortunately civility is hard to codify or legislate, but you know it when you see it. It’s possible to disagree without being disagreeable.”

This month I am excited to launch our civility projects! Civility in the Classroom is an educational resource to teach students the history and importance of civility in the law. Our Civility Hub will have resources and inspiration for lawyers and will be similar to TYLA’s successful Attorney Wellness Hub. We took inspiration from famous friendships like Scalia’s and Ginsburg’s, and in turn, I hope both of these civility resources will inspire kindness and respect for lawyers, future lawyers, and our communities. In my experiences with the State Bar of Texas and Texas Young Lawyers Association, I have seen people of goodwill pull together for the well-being of Texas lawyers and all Texans.

To celebrate Women’s History Month and the women who make up 37% of the State Bar of Texas, I’ll end with two more quotes from our first two female U.S. Supreme Court justices. O’Connor once said, “I think the important thing about my appointment is not that I will decide cases as a woman, but that I am a woman who will get to decide cases.” Ginsburg once said, “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made.”

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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