I grew up in a large, close-knit extended family in which every adult I knew was shaped by two profound events – the Great Depression and World War II. Nothing was ever wasted, debt was to be avoided, gardens weren’t a hobby but how you fed your family, and most importantly, everyone pulled together to help each other out. My Granma Martin sent all three of her boys into war, my Nana Fumo her only son. My aunts worked in factories in Kenosha supporting the war effort.
Everyone always said of those times, “we didn’t have money, but we weren’t poor.” As I grew older, I came to understand that what they really meant was they relied on each other and on their friends and neighbors. They had one anothers’ backs.
Today, people around the world are faced with this era’s own profound event. As I write this column, I can only imagine how the event will ultimately shape and change us. This pandemic has challenged people’s personal and professional lives and the communities in which we live.
At the State Bar of Wisconsin, as the news of the coronavirus unfolded, we worked quickly to safeguard the welfare of our members and staff. We worked to support the courts and the legal community in ensuring the continued administration of justice. We are connecting you to the resources and information that will help you through the challenges caused by the abrupt disruptions to your practice and your personal life. We are working hard to maintain operations with as little disruption as possible so that we can continue to serve you and your practice.
I have never been prouder of how our team, elected and volunteer leaders and staff, has pulled together to continue to fulfill our mission and purpose.
Like our forebears, we will persevere and meet the challenges laid before us, and we will do it by pulling together and supporting each other. Our resilience will see us through.
One of the most significant lessons we will learn is just how connected and interdependent people are. Our health and welfare are directly tied to that of our neighbors and the broader communities in which we work or reside. Keeping the local bookstore or restaurant down the road going, supporting local charities, donating blood, and volunteering with nonprofits have never seemed more important to sustaining the viability of the communities where we live.
We've got this, but only if we pull together and continue to support each other.
We’ll be back, at family gatherings, weddings and funerals, ball games, school events, graduations, conferences, and even in-person meetings. But life won’t go back to “normal.” Like our ancestors, we will have changed, in ways we don’t quite yet know.
What I do know is that your State Bar will continue to have your back. Together we will persevere. Here in the Badger state, there is only one way ... FORWARD.
We are working hard to maintain operations with as little disruption as possible so that we can continue to serve you and your practice.