New year, new opportunities. Many see January 1 as a “reset” date, a time of year when we do a deep dive into ourselves. This annual moment of introspection reminds me of a quote from Robert L. Rosen, “[s]elf-reflection entails asking yourself questions about your values, assessing your strengths and failures, thinking about your perceptions and interactions with others, and imagining where you want to take your life in the future.”
In keeping with new beginnings that grow us as people, attorneys, and as members of our wonderfully diverse community, the CBA will offer, for the sixth year, our transformative program Lawyers Connecting Beyond the Law (LCBL). Co-chaired by the Honorable Karen Litkovitz and Michael Hawkins, LCBL seeks to enhance the cohesion, character, and inclusiveness of our local legal profession by providing enriching, culturally responsive programming that brings together lawyers and law students of different backgrounds to share new and unique experiences throughout the year.
Since 2018, more than 300 attorneys have participated in LCBL. Through small groups, casual get togethers, and shared cultural experiences—such as visits to the Holocaust and Humanity Center at Union Terminal, the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati, and Santa Maria Community Services—participants have built strong personal relationships (and some pretty solid friendships), learning about themselves and others along the way. Our local bar and legal community are more welcoming and inclusive because of LCBL and the participating attorneys who have committed themselves to building cultural competencies.
So, what does it cost you to participate in this amazing program? Absolutely nothing. The value each participant brings to LCBL is their individual background and specific perspective to be shared so that other participants can learn from them. The only thing that you need to bring to the table is an open mind, a good attitude, and the desire to truly understand, communicate, and effectively interact with people across cultures. Apply here!
In an increasingly divisive society, I look forward to taking part in an experience that focuses on what we have in common instead of our differences. I am excited to build up each other and our communities instead of tearing down. I am excited to learn, understand, and challenge my perceptions. I hope this opportunity for individual and collective growth sounds as exciting to you as it does to me and that you join us on what is sure to be a meaningful, motivating, and educational journey.
Here’s to 2024, a year of being our very best selves!
Trotter Bratton is a judge with the Municipal Court of Hamilton County and the 2023-2024 CBA president.