Saturday, May 2, 2015

Editor's Message: Documenting the HCBA's History

By Ed Comey

“The memories of men are too frail a thread to hang history from.” I have to confess I’ve never been good at analyzing literature. So I have no real idea what John Still meant when he wrote that line in The Jungle Tide. (That could be, in part, because I haven’t read the book.) But I do know what the quote meant to me when I came across it online: Our history is so important that we must write it down so it can be passed on to successive generations. For the past 25 years, the Lawyer magazine has been doing a fantastic job of documenting the HCBA’s history for those who will come after us.

Before becoming editor, I always thought of the legal articles when I thought of the Lawyer magazine. When I practiced, it was great to be able to flip through a copy of the Lawyer and read about the latest developments in a variety of practice areas. As the editor now, I appreciate how much time and effort (by others, not me) is devoted to turning out such a high-quality legal publication. There is no question in my mind that the Lawyer magazine is the best local Bar publication around. But as I’ve been editing this year’s 25th anniversary edition, I’ve really come to appreciate how all of the articles and snippets about what the HCBA is up to tell a compelling story about who we are as a Bar association.

Just look at the special features in this year’s editions alone. In the September-October issue, there was a nice feature about the birth of the Bench Bar Conference 18 years ago and how it has turned into the HCBA’s signature event, featuring a full day of CLE classes, a membership luncheon, and a judicial luncheon. This issue’s feature documents the history of the Chester H. Ferguson Law Center, which has become the hub for the HCBA’s activities. Last issue, there was a great feature about how the 1st Annual Barrister Bash Pig Roast from 11 years ago has evolved into the Judicial Pig Roast/Food Festival and 5k Pro Bono River Run we know today. But perhaps my favorite was Cory Person’s touching feature in the January-February issue about the legacy of George E. Edgecomb and how he paved the way for a whole generation of lawyers who came after him.

As I mentioned in my initial editor’s message, historian David McCullough once observed, “History is who we are and why we are the way we are.” We are fortunate to be part of such a vibrant Bar association with a rich history. While I tremendously appreciate all of the lawyers who take time to keep us up-to-date on the latest legal developments, I hope the Lawyer magazine continues to fill its role of telling who we are and why we are the way we are for many years to come.