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    Wisconsin Lawyer
    July 24, 2017

    Your State Bar
    A New Beginning Starts with New Shoes

    The new executive director brings his own vision and enthusiasm to the work ahead. “You can’t fill someone else’s shoes,” he says, “so I brought my own.”

    Larry J. Martin

    black dress shoes

    “You take care of your feet, and your feet will take care of you.” My local shoe professional gave that sage advice when I stopped in recently to replenish my wardrobe. I’ve always believed that, when it really counts, you go see a professional. No discount store for me; I shop where my sales person is an actual pedorthist. There are a lot of alternatives today that save a few bucks, but in the end, I value knowledge, experience, and a quality product (along with a healthy back).

    Larry J. MartinLarry J. Martin is the executive director for the State Bar of Wisconsin.

    As I take on my new responsibilities, I see the State Bar’s role as positioning our members to not only survive but thrive in what is a fast-paced ever-changing world, increasingly filled with cheap knock-offs and promises of discounts. As the legal expert, you provide your client with the knowledge, expertise, and quality of counsel that cannot be matched elsewhere.

    The fundamental role of your State Bar is to help you grow your practice and position you to best serve your clients while working to ensure your work is done in a fair and equitable justice system.

    I’m walking into a great situation. The State Bar has been well managed and is fiscally sound. It has a tradition of strong volunteer member engagement, and you’ve elected incredibly smart and dedicated leadership. The Bar offers extensive, nationally recognized programs, services, and products to help you succeed in your practice. Standing with me is a dedicated and talented team of colleagues, singularly driven by how we can best serve you and your practice. I work with the best.

    That’s not to say there aren’t opportunities and challenges ahead.

    Our communities, and the legal profession, are becoming more diverse. We need to embrace the possibilities and value of a more inclusive bar if we are to succeed as an organization and, more importantly, help you succeed in your practice.

    The State Bar needs long-term financial sustainability. Our annual expenditures must stay in line with revenues. Achieving this balance will allow us to keep our focus on serving you.

    There are a lot of alternatives today that save a few bucks, but in the end, I value knowledge, experience, and a quality product.

    We must enhance our governmental and grass-roots lobbying efforts. Your voice needs to stay loud and strong in the governmental halls of Madison and Washington, D.C.

    Attorneys are natural civic and political leaders in our communities. The State Bar must continue to support this important leadership role, especially as new generations of lawyers join the profession.

    We need to work harder to demonstrate our value to you by continuing to focus on ensuring positive member interaction with the State Bar.

    I am excited about the possibilities that lie before us.

    Finally, several people have told me that I have big shoes to fill. I’m not going to even try. I can only say that I bring my own vision, energy, ideas, enthusiasm, experiences, and dedication to the work ahead.

    You can’t fill someone else’s shoes, so I brought my own.

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