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Posted 3/9/2010 by Elizabeth Derrico
In my 25 years of bar association work I’ve read a lot of president’s pages, probably around 10,000 or so. Some were memorable. Some made me laugh. Some made me cry. Some made me think. Some challenged my assumptions. Some inspired me. Those that inspired me are saved in a file. I take them out when too many emails seem to demand something RIGHT NOW, when a deadline is blown, and when the plane home is delayed another three hours. These missives remind me why bar associations are not merely trade organizations but professional organizations whose reach and impact are larger than just serving the self-interests of lawyers. They make me grateful for the profession I found-quite by accident-being a bar executive and serving the community of bar associations.
As we kick-off the Bar Leadership Institute this week, I know that one of the biggest fears among our incoming class will be the President’s Page. They are wondering how they are going to fill the column inches, meet the deadline, and have something to say that is worth readers’ time and energy. There is plenty of fodder for a president’s column from the need for judicial pay increases in some jurisdictions to merit selection of judges in others. However, amidst the calamity of pressing issues I hope that the columns that I read in the year ahead reflect the personalities and passions of their writers. Those are the ones that make into my file.