Thursday, June 19, 2014

Editor's Message: Is It That Time Already?

By Rena Upshaw-Frazier

It is hard to believe that the summer months are already here. With the beginning of the wonderfully ― or unbearably, depending on your perspective ― hot days, lemonade, and “summer blockbuster” movies, I conclude my year as the editor of this great publication. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the Hillsborough County Bar Association employees and volunteers, chatting with the dedicated section chairs, and spending time with the members. I have also enjoyed reading the thoughtful and insightful articles submitted for the Lawyer magazine and assisting with putting together what I hope you found to be seven phenomenal issues. It is impossible to hold this position without being enriched by the experience and reflecting on the lessons learned along the way. As I bid you adieu as editor, I want to share a few of those lessons with you:

1. Even when you think you have nothing to say, you have something to say. I usually have an opinion, or at least a defined point of view, on most topics that pertain to or affect my law practice. So when I began this year as editor, I thought that the easiest of all of my responsibilities would be to write the Editor’s Message for each publication. It was not. Between my career as a private practice real estate litigator, my children and family, and life in general, the creativity did not always flow as easily as I would have liked. In fact, there were times when I thought that I had nothing to say or write about. I was always wrong. In talking with the HCBA’s public relations and communications coordinator, spending time with colleagues, or reading the news, an interesting and relevant topic would always appear. Your inner creativity is there; sometimes you just have to find alternative ways to bring it out. This rings just as true for writing legal briefs as it is does for writing editor’s messages.

2. Diversity is a great teaching tool. As editor, I had the opportunity to critically read the thoughts of attorneys and students from different practice areas and careers, to interact with professionals from all different walks of life, and to work closely with people with vastly different perspectives and talents. I loved every minute of it, but most important, I learned so much. Variety is the spice of life. I held this belief long before becoming editor, but it was greatly reinforced during my time in this position.

3. It is great to be a member of the HCBA. I have been a member of the HCBA for as long as I can remember, and even served as co-chair of the HCBA Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section. As editor of the Lawyer magazine, I experienced firsthand all of the hard work that goes into making this Bar association as beneficial and informative to its members as possible. It has been a pleasure being a part of the team. Thank you for the experience.

I hope that you enjoy this year's last issue and savor the Florida summer!