We have reached the mid-point of 2020. In years prior, we were able to gather as a community, share drink, a story, and a laugh. We were able to mingle with judges and old colleagues. This year has been a bit different. You may have noticed.
Therefore, in lieu of the usual speech at our Summer Reception, I wanted to provide a mid-year recap. We were able to kick off the New Year with a fabulous Installation Dinner at the Oakland Rotunda where we listened to Justice Marty Jenkins who challenged us to strive for excellence.
When ACBA became aware of the Coronavirus, staff swiftly shifted focus to online meetings, CLEs, socials, and working remotely. Even though the offices were shuttered, our industrious staff began to assist members by providing court closure updates, Shelter-in-Place orders, and continuously informing membership of the ever-changing legal landscape.
Once it became clear that the shift to working remotely was (and is) going to be a longer-term solution, ACBA provided outlets for connection. We have had game nights, movie nights, and trivia nights. Sections continue to generate relevant and timely CLEs and come together during socials to reconnect with each other.
In May, the country dealt with the death of George Floyd and the civil unrest that followed. ACBA issued its own statement and in conjunction with the Charles Houston Bar Association kicked off a series of racial justice events including a powerful and moving reflection on Juneteenth; viewing and discussion of the film Just Mercy; and providing a space to talk about a variety of social justice issues.
Our collaborations did not end with Charles Houston. We had a tri-county trivia night, with attendees from Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties competing on mixed teams.
During this unusual year, ACBA has adapted. Between March and July, we have put on 21 socials, 70+ CLEs, and 10 Town hall discussions with the Alameda County Superior Courts. We are working on Town halls with San Francisco and Santa Clara County Superior Courts.
As we continue to ride this roller coaster of year into the second half of 2020, I hope you are as excited as I am about what the ACBA has offered and continues to offer to its membership. If you are feeling a little burned out by the state of the world – our Wellness Section has been offering Meditation and Zoom Zumba. Please continue to visit the ACBA website for the latest information, peruse the e-Newsletter when it enters your inbox and if you have any thoughts or suggests, please reach out.
I am confident during the second half of 2020, ACBA will be as informative, engaging and at the forefront of relevant information as it has been during the first half. I am looking forward to seeing your face at an upcoming social or CLE. With such an amazing beginning, I am sure the second half of 2020 will be as a wild a ride as the first half!
Lauren E. Powe
2020 ACBA Board President