Winter 2010-#7. PRESIDENT'S COLUMN.

AuthorBy Eileen M. Blackwood, Esq.

Vermont Bar Journal


Winter 2010-#7.


THE VERMONT BAR JOURNALVolume 35, No. 4Winter 2010PRESIDENT'S COLUMNBy Eileen M. Blackwood, Esq.With the recent deaths of our colleagues Joan Loring Wing and Guenever E.A. Gifford, Vermont has lost two outstanding advocates. In many ways, the two may have seemed to have little in common. Joan, at 61, was at the pinnacle of her career. She had served as president of this Association, started her own practice in 1997, and become an unparalleled mediator. Guen, at 37, was still building her professional success as a lawyer. Admitted to the bar in 2002, as a hard-working Law Line staffer, she had recently been active in starting a new consumer law section for this Association. Yet, they had many similarities. Both were native Vermonters-Joan from Rutland and Guen from Brattleboro. Although Guen was a National Merit Scholar and Phi Beta Kappa at Grinnell College, while Joan proudly reported that her only diploma came from Mt. St. Joseph's School, both completed a four-year clerkship to become members of the bar. Both had active lives in the community, advocating for causes they believed in. In fact, they exemplify the heart of our profession, the reason many of us became, and still practice as, lawyers- the commitment to make the world a little better place for everyone.

In talking with many of you, I have found that you shared my own experience-that these two extraordinary women touched many of our lives in some way, large or small, that left us better because of it. If you knew either of them, even just in passing, there's a fair chance that you remember your encounter with her. Both had strong personalities and made no apologies for who they were. For me, as for many of you, they were part of that web of community that weaves the fabric of our lives.

If you did not know Joan or Guen well, you undoubtedly know another colleague who fits this mold. As lawyers, we are uniquely situated to become involved in our communities, both professionally and as volunteers. Besides serving as president of this Association (as had her father and grandfather before her, a tradition of service few families can match), Joan served as president of the New England Bar Association, the Sterry Waterman Inns of Court, Rutland County Court Diversion, and the Rutland Area Retarded...

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