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As I was pinning my new calendar to the wall, I was reflecting on what stood out to me from the past year as the executive editor of Follow Our Courts: That the people practicing law in the Inland Empire inspire me with their dedication to mentorship.

I came into this position having had hardly any exposure to or knowledge of the legal industry. I had libel law down, and whatever suspect education I had picked up from watching “Better Call Saul,” singing “Hurricane” and reading John Grisham books.

I quickly learned what I expected to – process, vocabulary, distinctions – and I also learned about the culture of the profession.

Like members of the media, lawyers are usually vilified in popular culture.

But I have spent many hours with both kinds of professionals – especially at events that celebrate their goodness – and I know these portrayals are wildly unfair.

From the Desert Bar Association’s Hall of Fame Awards dinner in March* to the Inland Empire Latino Lawyers Association’s volunteer recognition dinner three weeks ago, one person after another was celebrated for helping others, and the word “mentor” was part of almost every speech.

In 2018 I watched a fantastic short film that talked about the importance of mentorship. The ending had an impact on me:

“When you get to the top of a mountain, pull the next one up. Then there will be two of you, tired and proud. And when the second one has finished taking in the view, let her pull the next one up. Room enough for all on the mountain peaks to pull the next woman up, pull the next man up. Pull the next up. Up. Up. Up.”


So before the ball (or in my town, the orange) drops on 2023, I’m giving another round of applause to all the people Follow Our Courts watched walk on stage to be recognized for pulling the next ones up, up, up.

*I can’t find my notes from the DBA event. If you have the names, please email me so I can add them in.


Read our coverage of the people and events:

A conversation with California Supreme Court Justice Groban
Hispanic Bar Association holds 2nd Winter Dinner
Inland Empire ABOTA named Small Chapter of the Year
Latino pro bono group honors attorneys
Legal Aid gives awards for supporting access to justice
Riverside Bar honors judge Riemer, installs new officers
Riverside judges, attorneys, clerks honored at Barrister’s reception
Riverside legal nonprofit honors volunteers, employees
San Bernardino Bar honors judges at annual dinner
SBCBA honors Donnasue Smith Ortiz
SB Judge Schneider, Commissioner Gassner, honored at annual dinner
WSBCBA honors attorneys, paralegal


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