Although this will now sound like a cliché, I wish I had known in law school how vital the organized bar would be to my future. Serving as president of the American Bar Association, I get to see how the ABA helps young lawyers (indeed, lawyers of any age) across the country strengthen their legal careers.
It was nearly four decades ago when I was talked into joining the first ABA delegation to China as the token young lawyer. Just before I left, I hastily became an ABA member for the first time. Thanks to the ABA, that trip launched my involvement in international law and my career as an international corporate attorney.
The rewards I reaped from the organized bar did not end there. It was through the ABA, and my local and state bar associations, that I began a lifelong commitment to public and community service—something that I emphatically urge every lawyer to do.