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January 22, 2023 From the Chair

Taking the Time to Make Connections

Thad F. Woody

The start of a new year is often a stressful time for attorneys and clients alike. Court dockets often see an increase in new filings while attorneys become even more stretched for a healthy work/life balance. As much as our jobs as family lawyers take center stage in the next few months, I hope you will also take the time to get involved with our Section and help join us in bringing meaningful contributions to the field of family law outside of your own jurisdiction. In my own experience, working with the ABA Family Law Section has helped me to establish a better work/life balance and enhanced my abilities as a practitioner. It has given me the opportunity to work collaboratively with fellow family lawyers outside of my home jurisdiction and has given me ideas, insights, and resources that I never would have learned otherwise. I would encourage each of you to do the same.

To those of you who have volunteered your time to our Section in the past, thank you. Some of our most dedicated Section members have attended meetings and written articles for 30 or more years. We are a better Section because of their hard work, and their contributions to the practice of family law are immeasurable. For those of you who might have taken a pause to navigate COVID, I hope that you will reach out and join our Section activities again soon. And for those members of our Section who would like to get more involved, please reach out to me at any time and I can help make that happen. I love hearing from Section members, and if you share with me your interests and your availability to connect, I can help find a home for you in our Section and a place to be active with whatever level of involvement you have to offer. We are always looking for volunteers to help present and/or plan speakers for our conferences, join a working committee, author articles, present online presentations, or even mentor young attorneys. With so many opportunities for involvement available to our members, hopefully, like me, you will find that working collaboratively with other family lawyers outside your own jurisdiction provides perspective and balance that help energize your own practice in this increasingly more contentious area of the law.

On the topic of finding better balance, one of the most highly regarded parts of our Section are the CLE conferences that we sponsor twice yearly. This past October at our Fall Conference in San Diego, we had top-level CLE speakers mixed with some beautiful West Coast venues for networking. It was the perfect combination of live/work balance. We welcomed a lot of fresh, new faces to the conferencere and enjoyed reconnecting with many familiar faces as well. Our next conference is scheduled for April 19–22 at the Aria Resort in Las Vegas. If you have not already registered, then please take time to do so now. We have a great discounted room rate at a beautiful resort with an impressive lineup of CLEs in a city that is never short on things to do.

Until then, be good to yourself through this busy time of year, and I look forward to seeing you at our Spring Conference in Las Vegas soon!

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Thad F. Woody

Kessler & Solomiany, LLC

Thad F. Woody is Chair of the ABA Family Law Section and the executive partner with the law firm of Kessler & Solomiany, LLC in Atlanta. He also serves as an adjunct professor at Georgia State College of Law.