I think as a society looking to the past is important to shape our future. In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower declared May 1 as Law Day. This day is to recognize how law provides the foundation to our country and to our society.
The West Suburban Bar Association was started in 1943, and we continue to grow our diverse membership consisting of attorneys and judges living and practicing in the western suburbs of Chicago. We have an active organization with monthly Continuing Legal Education meetings, installation gala, a summer party, golf outing and a judges’ night in the fall. Our meetings are held at the Clubhouse restaurant in Oak Brook typically on the first Tuesday of the month.
When the organization was started, the membership largely consisted of criminal attorneys coming together to discuss issues that affected them and their clients. Since 1943, our membership has grown and includes attorneys and judges practicing various types of law. Certainly, a lot has changed since 1943, but what has remained consistent is our organization’s ability to remain inclusive not exclusive, and the ability to come together to support one another in the practice of law and otherwise.
This past year, several of our monthly CLE meetings aligned with the 2017 Law Day theme of “The 14th Amendment: Transforming American Democracy.” This year, the 2018 Law Day theme is “Separation of Powers: Framework of Freedom,” which could not be more fitting.
Our democratic society’s foundation rests in the power of checks and balances. Our Founding Fathers built this government on the concept that each branch of the government is separate, yet affected by another branch, leaving no one branch and no one person in control. Although it has separate branches, our government is designed to work together for the greater good.
In today’s world, there are both an increased awareness of our elected officials and an increased number of individuals running for elected government positions. The West Suburban Bar Association’s membership consists of several members who ran for an elected position for the first time in their career. Women and minorities are appearing on ballots, demonstrating a shift in what used to be and hope for what will come.
West Suburban Bar Association is ready for the future as our mission from inception remains relevant and true: inclusion and our support to our membership. Although Law Day Law is not to be confused with “Love Your Lawyer Day,” which is the first Friday in November, it is a day that as a country we should take pause to appreciate our democratic society, learn from our mistakes and reflect on how we can improve this country, now and in the future.