by Gregory L. Pemberton, Ice Miller, Indianapolis, IN
I received an email message recently from an attorney named Kathy. It asked in part, "I am a member of the ABA Health Law Section and am interested in getting more involved with the Section. I would appreciate any advice you have on how to do that." With my thanks (and apologies for doing so), I will publicly try to answer Kathy's question.
Let me count the ways one can get involved. Start with a visit to our Section website, www.abanet.org/health. You can get to know the activities and opportunities available to Section members. There are some "member only" features which you can explore.
Next, join one or more of the Section Interest Groups. It doesn’t cost anything to join them. There are currently eleven from which to chose. If you find that your area of healthcare focus is not clearly covered by one of the existing groups, let me or any of the other leaders know. It may be time for an additional interest group to be formed.
Third, attend a live or telephone conference. Our live programs are always a nice combination of education and networking. We also usually have a pretty good time. If you want your education in smaller bites, our telephone conferences only take ninety minutes or so from your busy schedule. If you are like me, I normally grab a take out lunch and eat and listen to the speakers. One can even ask questions at the conclusion of most programs.
Fourth, the Section hosts many online discussion groups. Just go back to the website and click through to http://www.abanet.org/health/01_interest_groups/. You are now subscribed to either an Interest Group list serve or one of list serves devoted to a substantive law topic. Do not forget to glance at the netiquette tips at http://www.abanet.org/discussions/netiquette.html.
Fifth, one can be published in our publications. Our official magazine, The Health Lawyer is published roughly six times a year; and the editor and editorial board always welcome timely and interesting articles regarding health law. For more information and The Health Lawyer’s Article Guidelines, contact editor Marla Durben Hirsch, Esq. at 301.299.6155 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Our electronic publication, ABA Health eSource , is sent monthly and is another way to get your work published. Contact Adam Bielawski at 312.988.5581 or Adam.Bielawski@americanbar.org if you have questions about this opportunity.
Finally, you can do what quite a number of our Section members do. They "lurk." They visit our website, they join an Interest Group or two, they occasionally attend a conference, they belong to a list serve or two, and they read our publications. They are too busy to actually get involved in leadership, to write an article, or undertake any active involvement. Well, my friends, that is just fine with me. Many of our membership participate this way and we in leadership try to serve these members as best we can.So Kathy, those are my suggestions. Volunteer in any of these capacities. Become a presence in the Section's activities. But be careful what you ask for . . . you might end up writing a Chair's Column. Take care.