Volunteer involvement in the State Bar makes this a great association and earns the Bar role-model status among associations nationwide. Long-term volunteers provide continuity and experience, while newer volunteers bring a fresh perspective and additional energy. All volunteers are needed and valued.
Vol. 80, No. 11, November 2007
All of you do. Well, maybe not all of you, but many of you do and that's the point of my remarks this month. First, a little background. For the past year and a half I've had the pleasure of traveling to and attending many meetings involving State Bar leaders and executives from many other states. I soon realized that the State Bar of Wisconsin is recognized as one of the best bar associations in the country. Our services to members and our leadership in developing new services are second to none. Our CLE seminars receive praise from all over the country (and in fact are attended by lawyers who are not State Bar members). We have developed a strategic plan that is a model for other bar associations, and we continue to address that plan to make sure that every new project fits into the plan.
What makes this association function so well? It would be too easy to only heap praise on George Brown, our executive director, and his great staff. The praise is well deserved, but having a great staff is not the entire answer. The answer, as you might have guessed, is our volunteers. I've been involved in State Bar activities for many years, but it wasn't until I became an officer that I became fully aware that a huge number of lawyers volunteer to work on State Bar activities. However, I've noticed one thing lately. Our volunteers are getting older. That's a good thing - experience is great and it helps things run smoothly; but we need more of you new lawyers to get involved.
People volunteer for many reasons. Some volunteer strictly out of altruism; some because it enhances their quality of life. (Serving your profession makes your own professional life better). Some people, like me, simply want to give back to a profession that has been so good to them. Some do it for social or even financial reasons.
Whatever the reason, I'm appealing to you newer lawyers to get involved. A new Leadership Opportunities Directory, at www.wisbar.org/volunteeropportunities, provides detailed information about the many committee, section, division, and governance volunteer opportunities available. Contact me or anyone at the State Bar and ask how you can become more involved. Help make a great bar association even greater.
And remember; be civil to each other because that is what makes our profession great.