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    This fall, State Bar presidents and staff will travel the state, meeting with members to exchange information, solicit advice, and hear diverse opinions about the complex issues facing the Bar and the practice of law.

    George Brown

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    Wisconsin Lawyer
    Vol. 77, No. 10, October 2004

    Autumn Educations

    This fall, State Bar presidents and staff will travel the state, meeting with members to exchange information, solicit advice, and hear diverse opinions about the complex issues facing the Bar and the practice of law.

    by org gbrown wisbar George C. Brown,
    State Bar executive director

    George BrownOne spring day a little more than a decade ago, Nancy, my wife, and I were talking with our two young sons about where to take our summer vacation. In previous years we had driven to New York City to visit Nancy's sister, stopping at Niagara Falls and the Baseball Hall of Fame on the way. We'd also already visited the museums and monuments in Washington, D.C., spent an unbelievably hot summer day prowling the Gettysburg battlefields, and spent numerous weekends in Milwaukee and Chicago learning about life, art, and beauty in the vast array of museums, zoos, and gardens in these cities.

    In the middle of our conversation, Nicholas, the oldest, looked up and stated matter-of-factly, "You don't take us on vacations. You take us on educations."

    This autumn, State Bar presidents and staff directors will be taking some educations around the state. President Michelle Behnke and I will be meeting with more than 20 local and specialty bar associations before the end of this year. Past presidents George Burnett and Patricia Ballman and president-elect Mike Guerin will be meeting with other local bars. Member Relations and Public Services director Betty Braden also will be participating in most meetings, while CLE director Tom Dixon, Public Affairs director Dan Rossmiller, and Communications director Joyce Hastings will join us from time to time.

    The purpose of these educations is to learn from one another. As President Behnke has noted in her recent columns, there are numerous important issues facing the profession today. The proposed revisions to the rules of professional responsibility, WisTAF's proposed mandatory assessments to fund civil legal services, and the unauthorized practice of law are among them. You need to understand these complex issues. For example, even though information about these issues has been posted on WisBar, the State Bar's Web site, and discussed in the newsletter and this magazine for several months, many of you are aware of them only marginally, if at all. Why? You're busy. You have clients to worry about, court proceedings to attend, meetings to make, bills to pay, and family to raise.

    We also need to learn from you. We need your advice and opinions on these issues. Many of you have responded through the feedback button on the State Bar Web site. But many of you have not. You all have different practice situations, you live in different parts of a large state, and you each have your own perspective. If it is going to make the best possible policy decisions, the Board of Governors needs your opinions, your advice. So visit WisBar, www.wisbar.org, and read the material on these issues and respond. Contact the governor who represents you on the Board of Governors. And most assuredly, please plan to attend your local bar meeting so all of us can get the most out of these autumn educations.




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