Reflections & “Pre-flections”

As we near the end of another year, many of us naturally tend to look back and reflect on the past year.  Regardless of your political affiliation, it is safe to say that 2017 was a year of great change – change that continues to shape our world, both personally and professionally.

We, at the Contra Costa Lawyer, thought this was a good time to take a moment and think about change, not just in 2017, but in our profession generally.  We asked our authors to reflect on how things have changed over the course of their careers, and we got a lot of different viewpoints.

Some of these reflections were more personal. Judge Ellen James reflected over her career, moving from a Judge to a mediator, and what that change has meant her. Mark Frisbee, who recently retired, reflected on the process of retirement and what lies ahead for him.  One of our authors focused more on changes that took place on a larger scale and affected not just individuals, but our legal community generally.  Dean Barbieri, Dean of the JFKU Law School, has looked back at how the California Bar Examination has changed over the years, and how those changes affected the way legal education is delivered in this state.

We couldn’t do an issue focused on introspection without turning the mirror on ourselves!  Matt Guichard has shared his thoughts on writing the popular Civil Jury Verdicts column for this magazine and how that has changed through the years.  Similarly, David Pearson, our outgoing Editor, has reflected on his many years sitting on the editorial board for the Contra Costa Lawyer and how this magazine has changed dramatically during that time, moving from a black and white print publication to an award-winning, full-color online/print hybrid.  While the outside of the magazine has changed, what has remained the same is the dedication of our editorial board and the enthusiastic support we receive from the legal community.

Finally the end of one year brings with it the beginning of the next, and so in that spirit we sought out not “reflections” but “pre-flections” of those about to enter the practice of law.  We asked the three recipients of the Women’s Section Annual Scholarships to give us their thoughts about why they are entering into the practice of law and what they hope to accomplish.  These three women, Chelsea Davis, Kate Magnini and Emily Lahl, are all dedicated to serving others, and their fresh perspectives will hopefully start all of us out in 2018 with a renewed sense of what is possible when we utilize the privileges of our profession for the betterment of others.