Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday – because it asks us to turn our attention to all that we are grateful for, and, in my family anyway, to express this thanks verbally – and we can’t help but recognize, as we are sit around a table laden with more delicious food than we can eat, just how lucky we truly are.
On this Fourth of July, I would like to bring in a little thanksgiving and express how grateful I am, as a first generation American, to be a part of this Country, which was founded on the rule of law; to have been able play a part in our incredible legal system, and, most of all, to now have the opportunity to create a venue that celebrates the work of the law connected to the people behind it.
To me, this is a critical mission, for a the rule of law on which our country is founded has no meaning without the practitioners whose work effectuates and defines it.
The Declaration of Independence pronounces that "all men are created equal" and, to support that belief, Congress passed the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, providing that "no state shall . . . deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." But, these are just words on paper (or parchment).
It is the work of attorneys, like Fred Gray (most well-known for representing Rosa Parks), who give these words meaning, effect, life – and it is through their written work that we can see the intersection of the human story and the law; and it is this work that memorializes the attorney’s role in maintaining and evolving our rule of law.
Though the daily work of the law may not be as glamorous or groundbreaking as the Rosa Parks case, every case tells a human story – not only of the parties, but the advocates who, through their work, maintain and shape our rule of law for everyone’s benefit, and I am proud to be a part of a country where this work flourishes and to be a part of a venue that brings this connection to the forefront.
I hope that you all have a wonderful Fourth of July!