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    Wisconsin Lawyer
    December 01, 2010

    Inside the Bar: Our Purpose

    The State Bar exists to serve you, our members, in your practices. To learn some of the ways we're doing that, take a look at the accomplishments highlighted in the State Bar's Fiscal Year 2010 Annual Report.

    Wisconsin LawyerWisconsin Lawyer
    Vol. 83, No. 12, December 2010

    by George C. Brown, executive director

    George BrownIn the last year or so, I have had the opportunity to visit with members from nearly half of the county bar associations throughout Wisconsin. Often, I travel with our president or president-elect. And many times I hear, “I don’t feel like I get anything from the Bar,” or “What do I get from the Bar?”

    I welcome these comments, because they give me the chance to talk about the many opportunities for service that come with your Bar membership: service to you as a member and service opportunities we provide you to fulfill your public responsibility as an attorney. So we talk and, if I have one, I’ll give the attorney a member benefits brochure like the one you received with your Bar card, or a Fastcase or Practice411™ brochure.

    There is a better way to quickly learn what the State Bar has done for you this past year and what it is doing to support you next year and beyond. Please read the 2010 annual report.

    This is the second year that the State Bar has published its annual report in a digital format. The financials also are published on page 54 in this issue, but the narrative report describing the panoply of programs, services, and successes is in the Dec. 15 WisBar InsideTrack™ e-newsletter. (It is also on WisBar.)

    Electronic publishing saves money in printing costs. The biggest benefit, though, is that we can take advantage of technology, creating links to in-depth information about Bar programs, benefits, leadership opportunities, public service activities, and issues important to your practice and our justice system. And, instead of reading about what others had to say, the digital annual report contains multimedia interviews, such as of Wisconsin Army and Air National Guard Brigadier General Donald Dunbar thanking Wisconsin lawyers for helping Wisconsin military service members achieve peace of mind so they can better focus on their missions, and then president-elect Jim Boll on his goals for the association.

    The annual report highlights just some of the year’s successes, such as receiving three national awards for service to members: for the Young Lawyers Division Leadership Conference, the InsideTrack™ e-newsletter, and the Solo and Small Firm Conference that is held annually in October.

    You will also learn about legislative successes. More poor people accused of crimes can be represented by the public defender because the eligibility standards that had not changed in 20 years were updated. Exemption levels in bankruptcy were increased for the first time in two decades. And Wisconsin’s Uniform Commercial Code was updated to reflect current business practices.

    There is more, far more. Take a few moments. Read about how the State Bar has made your practice our purpose.

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