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September/October 2021

Perspectives: Finding a New Rhythm in the New Bar Year

Heidi A. Barcus

As I begin my year as chair of the Law Practice Division, I cannot help but reflect on the pandemic-related trauma we have all endured over the last 18 months. Unfortunately, the stress and toll of the pandemic is still not over. It is my sincere hope that as we enter this bar year, we can find a new rhythm. Each of us has been changed in some small way by COVID-19. Personally, I have experienced seismic shifts in the way litigation in Tennessee is handled. Prior to March of 2020, virtual hearings were not even fathomable. Before the pandemic, I was in the office every single day unless I was traveling for a trial, court appearance, bar meeting or deposition. That schedule came to a screeching halt in March of 2020. On a personal note, I value my health as I have never valued it before. I am outside more, and I have learned that I can work just as efficiently at home as I do in the office. Regardless of what the future holds, these are lessons I don’t plan to unlearn. Don’t get me wrong, I miss much of the way it was before March of 2020. But, overall, I can find value in what I have experienced in 2020.

Mostly, I yearn to see my bar friends again. I had no idea when I left Chicago after TECHSHOW that I would go without seeing the Law Practice members from across the United States for this long. Had I known, I would have said “thank you” more. I would have stayed up later and spent more time with our members after the programs ended. The goodbyes would have been longer.

If I am ever served a hard-boiled egg or stale pastry at a Law Practice Division meeting again, you won’t hear a complaint out of me. So long as we can meet and see each other in person, I will be happy. The Law Practice Division is doing everything it can to find a way to meet safely in person this bar year. As we figure out what the new normal is, my focus is on enhancing member engagement.

I have spent the summer meeting virtually with each chair of our committees and interest groups to discuss membership and plans for the upcoming year. These committees and interest groups have robust and exciting projects scheduled. For instance, the TECHSHOW board is already putting together speakers and tracks for its 2022 show. The Futures committee is planning a series of programs to help law firms create the “law firm of the future.” The Women Rainmakers are ramping up their Rainmaking Workshops, and the Legal Technology Resource Center continues to be the source of information for lawyers seeking information about technology to enhance the practice of law. Highlighting these projects runs the risk of ignoring the 40 or more additional programming opportunities the Law Practice Division has in the pipeline. Please join us at one of the events.

The Law Practice Division is here to help you recharge your practice and get energized about the practice of law. The Division is the go-to organization for lawyers and law firms looking to enhance the practice of law now and in the future. Take an extra hour to read through this issue for practice tips. Feel free to email our authors and let them know what you think about their article.

On behalf of the Executive Committee of the Division, we commit to working to find a way to enhance your experience with our Division. We continue to embrace a more diverse leadership. We will also continue to place an emphasis on the member benefits of the Division. Each member of the Division is available to help you navigate your place in the Division. Please let us know what we can do for you and what we can do better. I am excited about the upcoming bar year and look forward to working with you. 

Heidi A. Barcus


Heidi A. Barcus is a partner with London Amburn, P.C. in Knoxville, Tennessee. She is a past president of the Knoxville Bar Association and serves as the 2021-22 chair of the Law Practice Division. [email protected]

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