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President's Page: 'We can do hard things.'

Vol. 79, No. 1 / January - February 2023


Note from 2022-23 Missouri Bar President Lauren Tucker McCubbin: The mission of the Young Lawyers’ Section is to enhance the professional growth and public service of new and recently admitted Missouri lawyers. No matter where you are in your career, it’s important to encourage and support each other. With this in mind, I have invited Young Lawyers’ Section Council Chair Elizabeth Fax to share about YLS and its latest initiatives so we can all be better informed.

Journal Elizabeth Fax 3
Elizabeth Fax

Elizabeth Fax is 2022-23 Young Lawyers' Section chair. 

“We can do hard things.”

This is a quote I posted on my office door as a daily reminder to myself and my team. It was a quote that came to my mind when I was sworn in as chair of The Missouri Bar Young Lawyers’ Section Council last September. I think it is safe to assume that all lawyers experience self-doubt, especially when starting your first job out of law school, preparing for your first hearing, or submitting an important brief for your supervisor to review. I was certainly experiencing it when the gavel was passed to me to head the YLS Council. However, as I looked around the room, I thought, “We can do hard things.”

I thought about the amazing work the YLS Council was already doing, like the service projects we organize for every meeting. In 2022, we volunteered at the Ozark Food Harvest, coordinated a professional clothing drive, answered questions on Missouri.FreeLegalAnswers.org, wrote welcome letters to newly admitted lawyers, and prepared meals for residents at the Kansas City Ronald McDonald House.

I thought about lawyers all over the state who go into schools and teach students about the government for Constitution Day, and those who give their time welcoming new lawyers at the spring and fall enrollment ceremonies.

I thought about the YLS Council’s Diversity Committee led by Whitney Fay and Kamillia Scott, who continue to do incredible work spreading the message of Milly Sawyer to different parts of the state. “The Milly Project” is now a film adaptation of a play that details the true story of an enslaved woman, Milly Sawyers, who fought for and legally won her freedom in Springfield before the Civil War. The Diversity Committee coordinated continuing legal education programs last year in St. Louis, Kansas City, and Hannibal wherein they showed the film and hosted a panel discussion afterward.

I thought about all these initiatives and decided to amend my quote. We can do hard things … together.

Young lawyers across Missouri are already jumping headfirst into challenging situations and working together to make a difference and promote change. One of the things I love most about the YLS Council is that it brings together lawyers of varying backgrounds, practice areas, and experiences. Together, we make an incredible team.

Now that I have started my term as chair, I would be lying if I said that I never experience feelings of self-doubt. On the days I do, I remind myself that we can do hard things together. I hope you remember that, too.

I am honored to serve as chair of this wonderful, dynamic council. If you are a lawyer who is young or new to the profession and want to know how you can get involved, please reach out to me or anyone on the YLS Council. You can also visit MoBar.org/YLS for more information about the section, to learn how to contact your YLS Council representative, and to access the “New Lawyer Survival Guide.”

I look forward to all the great things we will do together.

All Missouri lawyers age 36 or younger or, if older, who have been in practice five years or less, are automatically members of the Young Lawyers’ Section at no additional cost.

Read more about the YLS Council and its service projects. Plus, look for updates on how to get involved in future service projects in the new Young Lawyers’ Section online community via connect.MOBAR.org.