President's Page: United, we flourish
Vol. 78, No. 5 / September - October 2022
Lauren Tucker McCubbin
Until 1956, the official motto of the United States was E Pluribus Unum, translated to “Out of Many, One.” It is my hope that you will see how you – Missouri’s lawyers – can flourish as we celebrate both the “many” and the “one” in The Missouri Bar.
In August, I had the pleasure of spending several days in Chicago with leaders of various bar organizations from across our great nation. It was one of the first occasions many of us were able to be together in person in several years, and I was grateful to hear various viewpoints shared openly and collaboratively. We did what lawyers do best: we critically analyzed the issues, debated the significance of problems, proposed and challenged solutions, and advocated strenuously for our various positions. Then we broke bread together and got to know one another as human beings, not simply spokespeople for a particular viewpoint or agenda.
This is one of the things I love most about serving in leadership of The Missouri Bar. We are a robust body of more than 30,000 members – each with individual backstories, practices, and perspectives. Our Board of Governors is comprised of 45 lawyers with widely varying experiences and ideas. We serve all our members, and we value each other’s unique contributions as we work toward our unified goal of helping Missouri lawyers even better serve their clients and communities, while also improving the law and the administration of justice.
The pandemic has made many things clear: we are all connected, we need each other, we can accomplish difficult tasks, and we are at our best when we work together toward a common goal. The rapidity with which the COVID-19 Omicron variant spread from South Africa to small towns in Missouri demonstrates how incredibly connected our society is. And quarantine highlighted how deeply we need that human connection. We suffer greatly when we are lonely and experience miscommunication when we cannot connect face-to-face. Now that we have more opportunities to gather safely, we are reminded how valuable it is to have many voices contributing toward a collective goal.
Missouri lawyers are part of a special community. We are uniquely qualified to help others. We ensure access to justice. We help people avoid disagreements or resolve them. We help businesses grow and help protect consumers from unfair or unsafe practices. We help Missourians understand how our justice system works and empower them to participate in it. In doing this, we are further bonded by our code of professional conduct and the social contract we entered when we took our oath.
While our backgrounds, practices, and experiences vary widely – which is one of our greatest strengths – we are united in our ability and commitment to justice, civic education, and service. And we can make the most change and achieve the best results by working together. United, we flourish. Our bar helps us do that by providing us and our communities with resources, points of connection, support, and education.
I am honored to serve as president of this wonderful organization, and I look forward to all the good we can and will continue to do together.