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President's Page by Brett Landis

As the child of a former public school teacher, September always means “back to school” season to me. Even more so than New Year’s, September feels like a time of new beginnings, new adventures, and new identities. It’s a chance to set goals for myself and get started on new plans.

This September feels a bit rougher than most. After a full school year of learning during Covid, students, teachers, and staff are having to prepare for a new round of safety precautions which we had hoped would no longer be necessary. We are not where we thought we would be at this time, and this new school year feels less full of promise than most.

Despite disappointments, there are still many new beginnings to celebrate. Board member Alison Gordon, our BCBA Executive Assistant Kyle Mares, and I were fortunate enough to attend a welcome lunch for the University of Colorado School of Law’s incoming 1L class. Marci Fulton, our CU ex-officio board member, invited us to meet the new students. Despite the pandemic, despite the alarming smoke from forest fires in the air, despite a somewhat dismal state of the outside world, these students are committed to spending the next three years of their lives engaged in rigorous studies and uncertain job searches, hoping that their work would lead to a better future. It is inspiring talking with these students and to see a world of possibilities through their eyes.

I want to take a moment to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the staff and faculty at our Colorado law schools. I have had the opportunity to work with several students as an externship and internship supervisor, and I am always impressed by the skills and work ethics of these students and how smoothly their educational programs have been run. With many changes, including, but not limited to, the past year and a half, Colorado’s legal education system is working hard to adapt itself to a new legal profession and to prepare students for practicing law.

This fall, we are also fortunate to welcome a group of new lawyers in our midst. The law school class of 2021 graduated in the spring and took the bar exam this summer. This current group of soon-to-be-admitted attorneys faced a pandemic and a recession, but they succeeded. They will have to engage in a steep learning curve as they figure out how to practice law, but the resilience this generation of lawyers has developed will benefit the profession for many years to come. (If anyone is interested in engaging in mentorship, please consider signing up to participate in the Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program, aka CAMP.)

As I set my goals as BCBA President this September, I am focusing on the optimism of the new lawyers and law students I have had the honor to work with. While unexpected changes to the world around us may alter the plans we have made, I am confident that our resilience and creativity as an organization and as a profession will lead us towards continuing our good work.

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