This Thursday is an anniversary event of The Liberty Project.

This Thursday is an anniversary event of The Liberty Project.

Today, I share news from the Liberty Project, established by two ASU law school graduates 10 years ago. This Thursday, October 1, the organization hosts an anniversary gathering at Cibo in downtown Phoenix (603 N. 5th Ave. 85003). More detail about the event is here. Besides celebrating a decade of existence, the group will be kicking off an endowed scholarship.

And here is the news as described by the Project:

Next week, the Liberty Project will celebrate a pretty significant point in its life. The Liberty Project is a reproductive rights think tank made up of young lawyers, law students and other interested individuals working for the preservation of reproductive rights and sexual health. The group was established at the Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor Law School by 1989 ASU Law alum and Gordon & Rees co-managing partner, Leon Silver, and 2007 ASU grad Rebecca Lumley. Along with current and previous members, Mr. Silver and Ms. Lumley will be celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the Liberty Project on October 1.

Rebecca Lumley, co-founder of The Liberty Project

Rebecca Lumley, co-founder of The Liberty Project

In celebration of this milestone, let us reminisce on past successes and what the future holds for the group.

In addition to serving as a great legal networking group for up-and-coming lawyers, the group has published papers and articles on the topic of women’s rights, prepared legislative analyses and veto messages regarding proposed bills, provided white papers on the financial ramifications of unwanted pregnancy, and been a constant advocate for women’s rights and medically accurate sexuality education. The Liberty Project has been successful in presenting a variety of panel discussions on topics such as: the right to privacy under the Roberts Court, legal and medical ethics of fetal tissue research, and a three-part panel series revisiting life before Roe v. Wade, examining the societal impact of Roe and looking at the future of reproductive rights.

The Project’s long-term sex-ed project consists of understanding to what extent schools are teaching sex-ed, what they should be teaching but are not, and how to implement these teachings. Other ongoing projects include but are certainly not limited to providing resources for girls seeking a judicial bypass and drafting and promoting pro-choice legislation.

Leon Silver, co-founder of The Liberty Project

Leon Silver, co-founder of The Liberty Project

As far as what the future brings, neither Mr. Silver nor any current member of the group could say with certainty. Each year’s projects depend solely on the choices of the current members, and with each year, come a new group of student members with unique passions.

“My involvement in the group is to provide structure and offer my resources and connections, not to steer, direct or restrict what the group decides to pursue,” said Silver. “Ultimately, the goal is to create a legal networking group that members can turn to after graduation as they enter and build a career in the legal field.”

RSVP to the free event here.

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Leon Silver, center, and Judge Roxanne Song Ong, far right, are two of the honorees of the YWCA Leadership Awards. Photo taken at Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix, Dec. 9, 2013.

Leon Silver, center, and Judge Roxanne Song Ong, far right, are two of the honorees of the YWCA Leadership Awards. Photo taken at Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix, Dec. 9, 2013.

This month, the Arizona YWCA announced whom it is honoring this year for leadership in the community. I’m pleased to report that among the honorees are a few members of the bar.

Congratulations to Judge Roxanne Song Ong, Presiding Judge of the Phoenix Municipal Court, and Leon Silver, a partner at Poilsinelli.

Judge Song Ong was honored as a leader in public service, Silver as a leader in advocacy.

On Monday evening, that announcement was made at a cocktail reception at the Ritz-Carlton. The bigger-deal event will be a formal dinner on February 1 (also at the R-C).

More detail on the February 1 dinner (and names of all the honorees) is here.

Arizona Attorney Magazine Creative Arts Competition ad 2013 cropped

Our 2013 call for artists. Winners of the annual competition will appear in the May 2013 issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine.

Today’s a bit of a visual traipse (terrific for those who are almost done with words for the week).

In the April issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine, we featured an article that examines how and why lawyers make time to be artists on the side (or vice versa). Written by Oriana Parker, it opens:

“Many attorneys refuse to be defined simply by their legal careers. As Roza Ferdowsmakan says, ‘There’s no need to feel boxed in. Simply cut holes in the box to add windows, or just turn it into a convertible.’ Her own office speaks to this sense of creative freedom, with some of the oil paintings she has painted over the years adorning the walls.”

“Of course, escaping a box is more difficult than it would appear. Law practice can be arduous, and free time may be scarce. How do some individuals manage to achieve high levels of success in their chosen art form, as well as in law? And what drives them to combine the two pursuits into a satisfying life?

The article explores how approximately six lawyers answer those questions, and how the answers affect their lives and law practices.

A URL listed in the story promises more works of art by those lawyer–artists. So I’m pleased to offer a few here (click on any image to launch the slideshow). These and more are posted on the magazine’s Facebook page.

In the madcap schema that is Change of Venue Friday, today’s story fits like a glove. For today I share something that may be the farthest afield from law practice, and that still involves practicing lawyers.

Today’s topic is … moustaches.

Specifically, it’s about those men who grow moustaches in the month of November, and occasionally raise money during the growth period. And they do all of that in service to medical research.

Confused yet? Let me put it this way: These are the guys who transform November into Movember. Here is how the organizers describe it:

“During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces, in the US and around the world. With their Mo’s, these men raise vital awareness and funds for men’s health issues, specifically prostate and testicular cancer initiatives.”

“Once registered at http://www.movember.com, men start Movember 1st clean shaven. For the rest of the month, these selfless and generous men, known as Mo Bros, groom, trim and wax their way into the annals of fine moustachery. Supported by the women in their lives, Mo Sistas, Movember Mo Bros raise funds by seeking out sponsorship for their Mo-growing efforts.”

“Mo Bros effectively become walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November. Through their actions and words they raise awareness by prompting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men’s health. The funds raised in the US support prostate cancer and testicular cancer initiatives.”

The hair-lipped copy goes on to say that the Mo Bros and Mo Sistas often celebrate with a Movember party at the end of the month.

Local angle? Yes, we’ve got one. It comes to us from those dedicated and occasionally hairy lawyers at Polsinelli Shughart.

I heard from Polsinelli shareholder Leon Silver, who pointed me toward their dedicated team page.

Leon tells me that firm shareholder Brian Flaherty is a cancer survivor and participates every year. But for 2012, they decided to make it an office-wide event. Go to their page to view the leaderboard and read the crazy-comment ticker (which includes photos of the lawyers’ kids with moustaches). Congratulations to all who participated.

Moustaches, huh? I remember three years ago when I spent the better part of November writing a legal novel (a novel!), as part of the national NaNoWriMo effort. Meanwhile, other guys stop shaving for a month and they’re heroes. Whatever, Leon.

Because a terrific event deserves a video, enjoy the following one from Bloomberg Law. In honor of Movember, they feature famous legal faces that were moustachioed.

Have a great—and barbate—weekend.