When I first began my career as a young lawyer, I had no real idea what the State Bar did. I was singularly focused on learning how to be a litigator and fighting the fear that I was going to fall on my face. I had no relationship nor any real communication with the State Bar. Does that sound familiar? I hope not, but assume that it might. It wasn’t until I began my volunteer efforts within the Bar much later in my career that I began to fully grasp just what the State Bar does and just how effectively it does it.
The State Bar’s key mission is to support the lawyers of the State Bar of Wisconsin and the people they serve. So, how do we do that, and how “should” we do it going forward?
I believe that it comes down to two key principles: Delivering member services that add value to your practice, and fostering two-way communication.
What are some things you can expect in the year ahead? First, the State Bar is coming to you. State Bar member services and other staff teams will meet with lawyers and law firms in their own communities throughout the state. We want you to know what the State Bar does. Your membership entitles you to programs and services you might not know about but that can support you and your practice.
While the State Bar has an acute understanding of the challenges facing the profession, we want to better understand the challenges and difficulties you personally encounter as a lawyer. We want to know the challenges concerning your firm and your practice so we can provide the products and services needed to address them.
We also need to learn about your successes and achievements, and about the things you are doing right so that others can benefit and follow your lead.
We want to know the challenges concerning your firm and your practice so we can provide the products and services needed to address them.
The State Bar does not have an answer to every problem you face, but it has solutions to many of them – and that’s where the dialogue needs to begin. Communication is a two-way street so, in addition to the Bar coming to you, we want you to come to us. Tell us what’s on your mind at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will, in this column going forward, report back on what I am hearing from you, what you are doing well, what you are struggling with, and what the Bar is doing to support you.
My name is Chris Rogers and I am proud to be the 63rd president of your State Bar. In the coming year, I will do everything I can to support our profession and to advocate for you and for the people we serve. I look forward to our ongoing discussions and our work ahead.