Governance & Membership

April 2018 President's Message

The Power of Three

By Kimberly Hays

Law Day is May 1, and I hope you are planning to be a part of the important day. Your county bar association is planning local events, and our OBA Law Day Committee is putting the finishing touches on our OBA celebrations. This year the Oklahoma Bar Association will be celebrating the 67th anniversary of Law Day. The year 2018 will mark the 42nd year OBA members are offering free legal advice to the public. The Ask A Lawyer TV show will air May 3 at 7 p.m. on OETA.

The 2018 Law Day theme is “Separation of Powers: Framework for Freedom.” We learned in elementary school that the Founding Fathers drafted a constitution that created a national government consisting of three branches. All three branches were needed to have a working government, and no one branch was to have too much power.

Do you think our Founding Fathers were influenced by the power of the number three when they were creating the framework for our government? Look around and take note of the ways in which the number THREE is front and center in everyday life. Only three primary colors (red, yellow and blue) are needed to mix most other colors. A batter has three strikes in baseball. Trilogies are powerful and memorable: “snap, crackle, pop,” “ready, set, go!” and “the good, the bad and the ugly.” A genie grants three wishes, Goldilocks has her three bears and the three little pigs fight valiantly against the big, bad wolf. Good things come in threes!

As attorneys, we must continue to educate the public about our founders’ greatest legacy – a republic composed of THREE separate and equal branches, with the judicial branch entrusted with ensuring that all Americans receive justice under the law. An indispensable element of our system of government is an independent judiciary.

We must ensure that our heritage of an independent third branch is passed on to our future generations. I encourage you to take the opportunity of the 2018 Law Day theme to remind others that our framework of freedom remains strong when our three branches of government remain separate and equal. Now, “go, see and conquer” the excitement of Law Day.

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Dana Kuehn for her recent presentation in Tulsa, which inspired this examination of the number three.

Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- OBJ 89 pg. 4 (April 2018)