2020! What a year it has been! Our personal and professional lives got disturbed by the COVID-19 pandemic. All plans/goals/ resolutions were cancelled, then re-written, and then re-written again. Many of us lost family and friends to this deadly disease, and definitely all of us were affected by it in too many ways to list. Not to mention that social and political climate left people confused, angry, and more importantly hopeless.

I have also seen the other side of the pandemic. The acts of kindness, compassion, leadership, example communities showed on the national and local levels. I have witnessed our local legal community to take quick and firm action to assure that administration of justice continues, and people’s rights are preserved under the Constitution of the United States. I have seen support, encouragement, and the sense of community our members showed to each other. This is exactly what the Bar Association is about: to serve, promote and celebrate legal community of the San Joaquin County! The past year proved that isolation can be very dangerous and the sense of belonging is undervalued. If you are reading this, and have not joined yet, or know someone who is not a member, I encourage you to join. The Bar Association provides many benefits to our members, but most importantly it provides a sense of belonging and community.

Going into 2021, I do not have a new year's resolution; however, I did borrow an idea from my son Tommy’s 6th grade school assignment to choose one word to represent 2021. I chose “gratitude”. I am grateful for being alive and healthy. I am grateful for my family. I am grateful for my mother-in-law who provides support for my children’s distance learning while my husband and I are at work. I am grateful for my office staff and clients…the list goes on and on. I encourage you to choose one word to live by in 2021, I promise it will change your perspective!

In the meantime, stay safe and well, and be KIND to each other as it is the right thing to do!

Anna Y. Maples,
President of the SJCBAR