Wisconsin Lawyer: Your State Bar Top 10 Things I've Learned:

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    Top 10 Things I've Learned

    I've had a busy first year as State Bar of Wisconsin executive director, learning even more about and engaging in some of the State Bar's most significant activities for members, the judicial system, and the public.

    Larry J. Martin

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    My first year as executive director has gone by in a flash. Allow me to pause and share a few thoughts on what I have learned and how it will shape our year ahead:

    Larry J. Martinorg lmartin wisbar Larry J. Martin is the executive director for the State Bar of Wisconsin.

    10) State Bar staff must get out and around our great state more – in the communities where you live, work, and meet. Moving forward you will see your State Bar reaching out to connect. Here are two great examples: For the first time, we will hold a WisLAP volunteer training program in Wausau this fall with the goal of building our volunteer corps in the northern half of the state. In addition, we are bringing the Annual Meeting & Conference back to Green Bay in June 2019.  

    9) The State Bar needs to engage members more directly in the governmental process, helping move our policy and legislative agenda forward. We will soon be adding a grassroots outreach coordinator to our Governmental Relations team to help build a robust grassroots network of members who can be directly engaged in policy and issue advocacy.

    8) Being committed to diversity and inclusion is more than changing the faces in a meeting or on a board. It’s working to ensure that no one is excluded from being able to fully contribute, lead, and benefit from all our organization has to offer.

    7) The State Bar has a unique mission and obligation to assist and engage with Wisconsin courts to further justice. Serving the judicial system and the public, as well as our members, is what sets us apart from other associations.

    6) I am amazed by the commitment of time, talent, and treasure of literally hundreds of our members who step forward each year as elected leaders and volunteers to serve individual lawyers and the profession and to further justice. It’s what keeps us a member-driven organization.

    5) I work with great colleagues. The State Bar has a terrific team of people whose focus is you and your practice. When I am asked why I keep showing up each day, I simply say I love what I do, who I work for, but most importantly who I work with.

    4) The State Bar offers a wide variety of programs, products, and services to help you succeed in your practice. Whether it’s Wisconsin Lawyer, a call to our ethics hotline, assistance from our Practice411 program, attendance at one or more high-quality CLE programs, or use of PINNACLE® products, our job is to make sure we connect you with something that you value and that moves your practice forward.

    More than ever, lawyers have a unique ability to bring people together: to make sense of the chaos that can surround us, to help break down the barriers that can divide society, and to raise the level of civility that is badly needed today in our public discourse.

    3) The State Bar represents a diversity of voices within the profession and thus must strive to always listen to and honor a broad range of viewpoints and opinions. 

    2) Drive into any city or town in Wisconsin and you will find lawyers as civic leaders in their communities. Whether it’s leadership in the local Kiwanis Club, serving as an elected official, leading a United Way campaign, chairing the library board, or advocating for social change, lawyers are at the forefront in their communities. A few examples of those who have left their mark include Vel Phillips, William Callow, Peg Lautenschlager, Dan Fay, and Greg Conway.

    1) More than ever, lawyers have a unique ability to bring people together: to make sense of the chaos that can surround us, to help break down the barriers that can divide society, and to raise the level of civility that is badly needed today in our public discourse.

    Finally, I deeply appreciate the opportunity, privilege, and honor you have given me to serve as your executive director. Thank you. Now, let’s proceed forward together into our next year!




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