James M. Durant III
Have you ever met a person who can make you feel at ease whether you are speaking to him one-on-one or with a large group of people? Lieutenant Colonel James M. Durant III is such a person. He connects with people. This skill of his has served him well over the years.
James is a deputy staff judge advocate with the United States Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps. His numerous accomplishments include being the youngest and first military active duty chair of an ABA standing committee (SCAFL), a Distinguished Graduate Air Force ROTC, Howard University (top one percent of ROTC grads), an ABA YLD Fellow, an ABA TIPS 2000 Leadership Class member, an ABA/YLD Outstanding Young Military Lawyer for the Air Force, and a GPSSFS Diversity Scholar (the inaugural class). He is the recipient of a GPSSFS Difference Maker Award, a Howard University Outstanding Intern Award, and several military achievement certificates and medals (including the two Defense Meritorious Service Medals).
In addition to being a member of the American Bar Association, James actively participates in the National Bar Association and the Tuskegee Airmen Incorporated that has 48 chapters throughout the world.
James’s vision for the Division is to (1) continue our remarkable membership growth, (2) continue to secure large commercial sponsorship, (3) continue to provide the absolute best membership products, and (4) cultivate and grow new bar leaders to continue our successful record of achievement.
Regarding membership, I recognize this area as one of the most critical areas affecting the viability of the GPSSF Division—bar none! Our membership is the life blood of all we do, and it will be my priority to continue to grow this Division. We have tremendous people working membership, and, if elected, I intend to motivate those I appoint to continue focus on new ways to increase our membership totals. We are doing extraordinarily well under the careful hands of Jennifer Rymell—she has paved the road for continued membership success through a number of endeavors. I know this personally. If elected, we will continue those programs that work, scrap those programs that have failed, and devise/implement new membership ideas and concepts.
On the topic of commercial sponsorship, it almost goes hand in hand with membership. Having the capital to fuel our programs is a priority—funding is also the life blood of our Division. Under the vigilant stewardship of Alan Olson, we are in good financial shape. Alan’s unwavering commitment to our Division has ensured our future success for years to come. I am committed to following Alan’s recipe for financial stability.
As far as membership services are concerned, I think about the great products we already deliver and those directly responsible for making it happen. We certainly have talented thinking individuals, and I fully intend to pull out of them their best efforts to produce new membership products and benefits. Through focused membership products discussions, I plan to continue to grow in this area with new and innovative products and services. Through member services, such as our Solo Day, we can hit two birds with the same stone—delivery of member services and new member recruitment—especially new bar leaders. I will also focus on improving our GPSolo magazine—with a 30,000 plus membership base, this one product is the face of the GPSSF Division. I will ensure that we continue to have the very best face. Last, I will focus on technology. When I think about technology, Bruce Dorner and Doug Knapp come to mind—we must continue to exploit technology in efforts guarantee and secure our ability to deliver the absolute best membership products.
Last, but certainly not least, we need to grow bar leaders. Through leadership training and focused recruiting, I plan to help our Division plant and grow the future leaders of the GPSSF Division. We cannot miss this opportunity. We owe an obligation to our Division to ensure that our leaders are truly GPSSF Division-grown, not simply acquired. This will take time. Having said that, we should continue to focus on up-and-coming YLD leaders and Law Student Division leaders to start them young in GPSSF Division.
His ability to connect with people and motivate them to make a difference is invaluable to the Division’s continued success.Amy Lin Meyerson is a sole practitioner in Weston, Connecticut, practicing in the area of domestic corporate law, concentrating in the formation and growth of emerging businesses. She serves as chair of the GP|Solo Section’s Outreach Committee and is president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. She may be reached at email@example.com.