Law Day 2022

Leaders Do the Work at All Levels

W hile I will forever be grateful for and humbled by the opportunity to serve the Cook County Bar Association (CCBA) as president, what is certain is this: to lead does not require a title. The CCBA comprises hundreds of “rank- and-file” leaders who roll up their sleeves, give of themselves, and just do the work. These women and men stand in the gap supporting communities by extending health resources like free COVID testing and masks, free legal aid and holiday assistance to the public. But that is just a preview of the yeoman’s work done by the Bar Association I serve. Every day, leaders mentor and then pro- vide support for handsome scholarships ex- tended to up-and-coming students soon to join the legal community. Further, our Bar Association, through stalwart members like Urie Clark, help our bar develop and share our highly respected judicial candidate ratings with the communities we assist. On a daily basis, women like Monique Patton Woody, Mental Health Committee chair, Linda Sackey, responsible for our Rapid Response outreach, and LeDeidre Turner, co- chair of our Job Fair, rise to the challenge of the times. Lawyers in the Community chair, Antonio Lee, along with Raymond Rushing, Chair of

Committee on Committees, and Membership Chair, Amir Akbar, work tirelessly to ensure that the CCBA remains tethered to the com- munity. As president, I’ve found myself being the beneficiary of sage counsel from past pres- idents like the Hon. Sidney Jones, III, Ret., Judge Celestia Mays, Arlene Coleman, and Delores Robinson. I am fortunate to work with and for those mentioned above and this Bar Association. I am compelled and duty bound to both recog- nize and acknowledge the same. I was asked to offer a commentary on “Leadership in Challenging Times.” When you are surrounded by extraordinary people like the members of the CCBA and guided by leaders like executive director Cordelia Brown assisted by Lisa Hollyfield, assuming the role I currently occupy is easy. The times we are in are, no doubt, chal- lenging. But the CCBA has been nimble in how it has adapted. Our committees have been prolific in their programming, and our bar continues to offer a wide array of Continu- ing Legal Education courses. This pandemic has not stopped us, and it will not. Leaders lead by example. The CCBA has done and will continue to do just that.

CANNON LAMBERT, SR. President, Cook County Bar Association

all levels. The Institute’s topics ranged from marketing to increasing profits to capitalizing on change, more necessary than ever during these challenging times. Last winter, we welcomed nationally rec- ognized speakers Dana and Keith Cutler to present their program, “Rooting Out Racial Bias.” The Cutlers addressed microaggression, implicit bias and cultural appropriation. We’re bringing them back this May and have hired consultants to support our diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts. The ISBA Board of Governors created a comprehensive strategic plan under my lead- ership. Highlights include improved commu-

nications, richer membership experiences and increased diversity in our membership and leadership. It is my hope that we empower all attor- neys interested in pursuing leadership roles to do so and provide them with attainable paths to their goals. The ISBA Leadership Academy is a flagship program designed to train the next generation of diverse professionals to become effective leaders in the Illinois legal commu- nity. Now, more than ever, it is important that we come together and celebrate Law Day. Happy Law Day to all of my fellow pandemic warriors.


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