President's Page: With gratitude, together we thrive
Vol. 79, No. 3 / May - June 2023
Lauren Tucker McCubbin
We enjoyed a particularly beautiful day in Jefferson City April 28 as we welcomed our newest members of The Missouri Bar into the profession.
The grass was green, the sun was shining, and the February bar passers and their families were all smiles and excited about the bright future ahead of them. During the enrollment ceremony, Supreme Court of Missouri Chief Justice Paul C. Wilson encouraged each of our new members to take a moment to thank their families and friends who supported them through law school and the bar exam. It was a fitting ask – they began their legal careers with gratitude and recognition of the communities who helped them achieve this goal.
Missouri Bar members had several recent opportunities to show gratitude to the communities who help our justice system operate every day. We celebrated Court Staff Appreciation Week in April, when we encouraged Missouri lawyers to thank circuit clerks, deputy clerks, bailiffs, and other court support personnel who are the heart of the judicial system. In addition, members of The Missouri Bar Board of Governors and Young Lawyers’ Section Council sent hand-written thank you notes to court clerks, and the Board of Governors provided doughnuts to staff at the Office of the State Courts Administrator.
The opportunities to give thanks continued through the first week of May with Juror Appreciation Week. The Missouri Bar provided a poster for courts to display that thanked jurors and encouraged Missouri lawyers and the public to join in the celebration on social media using #ThankAJuror. The week is a great annual reminder of how important the public’s role is in our justice system.
This practice of gratitude not only benefits those we are thanking – it helps each of us as well. Numerous studies have found that gratitude reduces stress and improves physical and mental health.1 It was timely that we began May with this practice, as the first week of May is also Well-being Week in Law.
During Well-being Week in Law, The Missouri Bar’s Standing Committee on Well-being in the Profession offered programming and events focused on improving our emotional, intellectual, physical, social, and spiritual well-being. I am so grateful to the members of the standing committee, our Missouri Lawyers’ Assistance Program, our Missouri Bar staff, and those who volunteer their time to help Missouri lawyers improve their well-being each day. Thank you. You make our lives better, and as a result, we are better able to serve our clients and communities.
I am also appreciative of the many individuals who continue to help prepare us for the increased remote public access to court documents in Case.net beginning July 1. If you have not already, please visit MoBar.org/RemotePublicAccess to access numerous resources like redaction applications, how-to videos, and the rule changes.
As our Supreme Court aptly advised our newest members during Enrollment Ceremonies, The Missouri Bar is a special community. Each of you is a valued member for whom I am profoundly grateful. I hope you will join me in practicing gratitude beyond these celebratory weeks, continue to prioritize your health and well-being, and support and encourage others in doing so also. With thanks and appreciation for each other, together we thrive.
1 See Joshua Brown and Joel Wong, How gratitude changes you and your brain, Greater Good Magazine, June 6, 2017, greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_gratitude_changes_you_and_your_brain; Giving thanks can make you happier, Harvard Health Publishing, Aug. 14, 2021, health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier; Luna Greenstein, When looking for happiness, find gratitude, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Sept. 23, 2016, nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/September-2016/When-Looking-for-Happiness-Find-Gratitude; Jamie Ducharme, 7 surprising health benefits of gratitude, TIME, Nov. 20, 2017, time.com/5026174/health-benefits-of-gratitude/; Maanvi Singh, If you feel thankful, write it down. It’s good for your health, NPR, Dec. 24, 2018, npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/12/24/678232331/if-you-feel-thankful-write-it-down-its-good-for-your-health.