chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.
April 07, 2023 Judicial Division

JD Director's Column

By Ms. Tori Jo Wible, Chicago, IL

Membership: Webster’s Dictionary defines it as “the state or status of being a member,” which seems pretty circular. A member is defined as “one of the individuals composing a group or a part of a whole.”

I prefer the “part of a whole” option, why am I a member of anything? Because I want to be part of something larger. I want to contribute, to belong, to be with other people who care about the same things that I do. I’ve always believed in collaboration to accomplish goals, and that to bring about change it’s more effective to work from the inside than bang on the door from the outside. Association membership is a great way to amplify our voices to accomplish common goals and bring about change.

As a staff member of the ABA, I am automatically a member. However, I’ve been a member (on and off) since the days when I was a law student representative back in [redacted]. After graduating and passing the bar, I collected the annual stickers and used to wonder if they would eventually cover my diploma.

The stickers were discontinued, my firm stopped supporting bar association involvement at any level, I had two wonderful children and drifted away from the ABA. Why did I come back? That sense of belonging to a group, of collaborating to make my voice louder, of working on projects that advance issues I believe in.

That’s my story, what’s yours? How can we tell our stories to other lawyers and judges and convince them that ABA membership is valuable? The Judicial Division Budget Team has advanced a membership contest to reward the Conference which recruits the most members between Midyear and Annual this year. If every EC Member of every Conference brought in one colleague, JD membership would increase by nearly 100 dues paying members. Now’s the time to bring in new members before the dues increase goes into effect in September. The Budget Team has challenged you to recruit new members, and I challenge you to bring your friends along with you to experience all that you have experienced as members and leaders in the ABA.

For the Association and the Division to stay relevant, we must grow. Someone brought you into the ABA, pay it forward and bring in a colleague. Here’s the link to join, share it with a friend, help your clerks join the Council of Appellate Staff Attorneys (CASA), and bring others along on the journey. Together we’re better. 

Ms. Tori Jo Wible

Ms. Tori Jo Wible

Judicial Division Director, Chief Counsel

The material in all ABA publications is copyrighted and may be reprinted by permission only. Request reprint permission here.