By Jeremy M. Evans, President, California Lawyers Association
What do Anthony Bourdain and my summer have in common?
This summer, I took a trip of a lifetime. The one where you realize that Anthony was right when he said that “the more places I see and experience, the bigger I realize the world to be. The more I become aware of, the more I realize how relatively little I know of it, how many places I have still to go, how much more there is to learn.”
You may be wondering how this realization came to be. This summer brought the opportunity to spend three weeks traveling to five countries and 12 cities. A beyond legendary experience, my travels reiterated the importance of relationships and taking time for yourself.
My first stop was Wimbledon in England to see a client play in the world-famous tournament, close two brand deals for the same client, and have business meetings in London.
The next part of the journey was an educational trip organized by the World War II Museum in New Orleans to Germany and Poland. Visiting sites and megastructures built during the war was a somber but important journey with many history lessons learned that must continue to be shared.
The fourth country I visited was Spain and the beautiful city of Barcelona, where the Barcelona Bar Association and California Lawyers Association (CLA) held a joint conference for the first time. Derived from a friendship agreement signed in 2020, the conference was organized with the International Law and Immigration Section of CLA. The conference was a resounding success of top-notch legal education programming and social connection, with plans for future conferences and engagement of members.
The last overseas stop was in Marrakech, Morocco, at the suggestion of a law school professor. The city, its people, culture, and food did not disappoint. Marrakech is as exciting as it is exotic and wild, mysterious and welcoming.
The trip ended with a quick stop in Utah for my father’s 70th birthday party and a family reunion.
The internet, global communications, and virtual services and programs have made it easier than ever before to travel, work, and live a life beyond the four walls and roof of an office; to grow your influence and business beyond borders. To make new friends and try new foods. To have fun and enjoy life!
Trust me when I say this trip was the third of my lifetime to visit multiple countries and cities, which is saying a lot for someone who never left the continental or even western United States of America until college. In fact, yours truly never flew on an airplane until college, and my first flight overseas was to China for a law school study abroad program. Blessed might be the best word to use to describe these travel opportunities.
Life is a journey and is meant to be explored. Overseas travel is certainly not mandatory, but it does broaden one’s perspective and makes one appreciate America more for its opportunity and promise.
As one of the largest voluntary bar associations globally, CLA is focused on our home state of California, its members, and the legal community for legislative advocacy, education, and connection. But we must also look beyond our borders for diplomacy, insight, connection, and growth. The people we meet and the new experiences we encounter hold many lessons we can apply within our own communities. Indeed, our heart is in California, and we have much work to do to gain the trust of thousands more California-licensed attorneys who do not yet call the voluntary California Lawyers Association home.
Among its many functions, California Lawyers Association develops relationships with foreign bar associations and seeks to promote the exchange of knowledge and best practices between legal professionals in California and our counterparts in other parts of the world. Much of this great work has been done through the International Law and Immigration Section. CLA currently has 13 Friendship Agreements with foreign bars. We hope bar associations across California, America, and the world consider working together to guide and grow the legal profession.
As the organization continues to explore bar relationships, the purpose is clear: to build similar friendships with people and their leaders to share ideas and grow together. Our boundaries should only be our beautiful imaginations—with the hope that they only grow with age, wisdom, and time. Cooperation and mutual respect should be our guiding principles.
As we close this letter, I will avoid shedding a tear of happiness and joy too soon for the beautiful opportunity to serve each of you and the profession as President of an amazing bar association and community for the past two years. Its people—volunteers, and staff—are tremendous. I will forever be blessed to be able to serve and serve well. More on that in September as we close the bar year at the Annual Meeting and President’s Gala in San Diego. We hope to see you there.
Remember, beyond four walls, there is peace and opportunity.
Sincerely Yours in Hope,
Jeremy M. Evans
President, California Lawyers Association
Want to read past messages from President Evans? Read more, below!