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Dear LMA Northeast Members and Colleagues,

We are at a pivotal point in society.

The global health crisis has transformed nearly all aspects of life in the blink of an eye, presenting opportunities for some and disparity for others. I find myself in a state of dual emotions. Grateful for the health of my family; heartbroken for the ill. Excited for rapid change in the industry; anxious as to the ways those changes impact our careers. Eager to support the economy; fearful of increased exposure of the virus. Hopeful because of the Supreme Court’s historic decisions protecting young immigrants and members of the LGBTQIA+ communities; deeply pained by the continued racial violence brought upon the Black community.

The global health crisis exacerbates the gross inequalities in our institutions, racism around us, and brokenness of the systems set in place to protect and educate us. I believe that the violent murder of George Floyd was the breaking point for all of us. There is no denying that we are failing our Black community. We must do better.

At our core, legal professionals are problem solvers. Now is the time for us to use those skills to contribute solutions toward dismantling systemic racism. Start by using LMA’s Diversity and Inclusion SIG as a resource to educate yourself on the issues, especially as they relate to the legal industry. Bring that education back to your firms. Open a dialogue with firm leadership as to the ways you can create safer, more inclusive environments.

I struggle to find words of any real substance and meaning. I center on the duty of the job, which is to advocate for our profession, provide education and resources, and create communities of support. To that end, if there’s anything that LMA or its membership can do to help support you, please reach out to me or any other member. The LMA network is vast and there are tremendous resources available to you throughout the organization and its membership.

Thinking of you and hoping that we can all be together in person soon.

Dawn Sheiker
LMANE President