GPSolo Magazine - July/August 2004
Well, we have just about reached the end of this Bar Year and, at the outset of this column, let me state unequivocally that I have had a great time serving as Chair of our Section. I enjoyed the opportunities that I had to meet with lawyers and law students from across the country and discuss issues and concerns important to our profession.
We started our year in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at our Fall Meeting. Robert A. Stein, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the ABA, was in attendance, and Section members had the opportunity to attend the Midwest Regional Success Conference. We met, talked, learned, and socialized with lawyers practicing in five Midwestern states. Our Midyear Meeting was held in San Antonio, Texas, and the highlight of the meeting was the Military Law Committee’s luncheon. ABA President Dennis W. Archer, President-Elect Robert J. Gray Jr., and President-Elect Nominee Michael S. Greco attended the lunch and affirmed their support for our military lawyers. Our Spring Meeting was held in Phoenix, Arizona, and the highlight was conferring the Section’s first Lifetime Difference Maker Award to General Earl E. Anderson. General Anderson’s life is a testament to what it means to be a lawyer.
Let me mention a few other highlights. The Section continued its pro bono and public awareness initiative, Tolerance Through Education, by running a program at each meeting site. Our Diversity Committee continues to promote a well-rounded, diverse membership that is actively involved and engaged in this Section. Section membership is on the rise. Increased membership is a testament to the value that our Section provides through its periodicals, meetings, committee initiatives, and CLE programs.
Among this year’s noteworthy accomplishments:
• We have 1,000 more members now than we did at this same time last year.
• We had record-breaking attendance at our Fall Meeting, where the Section put on a total of 21 hours of CLE—as compared with the usual eight.
• The Section’s three Diversity Fellows (William E. Brown, Olu A. Stevens, and Edd Vasquez) raised the bar this year by actively participating in all aspects of the Section’s planning and leadership; they will continue to be a vital part of our Section in their new roles next year.
• The December 2003 Technology and Practice Guide issue of GPSolo, “How to Set Up a Law Office,” was distributed at many solo and small firm conferences across the country and was one of our most requested issues ever.
• We developed a comprehensive plan to increase the Section’s non-dues revenue over the next three years.
• We developed a plan to identify products we will consider marketing to aid lawyers at various stages of their careers; we appointed a steering committee to guide the development of these products.
I highlighted the members of our Section’s staff in a prior issue of GPSolo. Our Section Director, Alexa Giacomini, leads an impressive group of people who are dedicated to assisting the officers and members in all Section activities. Each member of the Section’s staff has earned my gratitude.
The theme for this bar year was “Who Are We.” Throughout this year we, as a section, have celebrated the fact that we are lawyers—actively engaged in our profession. I am proud to be a lawyer, and I am grateful to the members of this Section for giving me the opportunity to serve as your Chair.
My best wishes to incoming Chair, Lee S. Kolczun. The section is fortunate to have him. Lee is an innovative leader, and I pledge to assist him and remain an active member of Lee’s T.E.A.M.
My thanks to all.