President's Page by Brad Hall
When I first joined the Boulder County Bar Association back in 1991, I did not think much about why I joined or what was to be accomplished by my membership. Like my association with the Kansas City Bar Association right out of law school, it was really a no-brainer to join. It went without saying that the bar association was a good organization with which to be associated and that it did a good job of serving both its members and the public at large.
My new firm paid the dues, I met some great people and lawyers, and the annual parties were always fun. Very little was asked of me and very little was required. Looking back, it seems like the ideal relationship. I certainly did not appreciate, at the time, that a well-run organization, like the BCBA, had its hiccups and suffered trials and tribulations on a regular basis. I certainly did not appreciate the hard work the Board and staff had to do to actually make it the organization that it is today.
As all who have had the pleasure of being a member of the BCBA Board can attest, reality belies appearance. Over the course of the Bar year, a great deal of thought, planning, and hard work goes into making this organization a success. The Board, our Executive Director and Assistant, and many volunteers are working year-round to continue to fulfill the mission of the BCBA.
The planning for the upcoming year starts at our Bar Board retreat in June. Board members and staff hunker down in a conference room for a day and discuss in depth both our short-term and long-terms goals for the upcoming year. The time together allows our Board members to get acquainted on a more personal level. The trust built during the weekend allows us to move forward on those goals with a common sense of purpose. (I should also mention that I won the putt-putt golf tournament the night before the Bar Board retreat.)
As always, our goals are defined by the mission to serve the members of the organization and to educate the public about law-related topics. As a member based organization, the BCBA continually works on how to engage additional members in the process of fulfilling the mission.
One area in which a lot of bar associations struggle is engaging younger members to become involved in bar activities and eventually become leaders of the bar. The reasons are numerous, but in the end, it is all guess work unless those members and potential members engage on their terms and not ours. To that end, the BCBA is in the early stages of establishing a Young Lawyers Division within the BCBA.
In the past, the BCBA has used the model of a young lawyers section with section chairs who plan activities and CLEs of interest to those individuals. The new YLD model would operate differently; its members would elect their own board and establish, as a quasi-independent entity, their own governing documents and goals with the support of the BCBA.
Establishing a YLD will certainly take more than one year to be successful, but it will be important to the overall continued success of the BCBA. We are fortunate to have the initial efforts of starting the YLD spearheaded by Banafsheh Lari of the Ciancio, Ciancio, Brown law firm. If you would like to be involved in getting this new venture started, you may contact her at email@example.com or 303-872-8918.
The other area of focus in the coming year will be to increase our connection with the Colorado Bar Association. Ron Jung, our current Secretary/Treasurer, and I had the pleasure of attending a Bar Leader's Summit in June which was sponsored by the CBA. The information and resources available through the CBA are outstanding, and we want to take advantage of that to better assist our members. In addition, we want to provide our members more opportunities to participate in CBA sections by presenting at seminars sponsored by the CBA, as well as moving into leadership positions at the state level. Renee Ezer, Ron and I had the opportunity to sit down with outgoing CBA President, Dick Gast, as well as current CBA President, Jon Vought, this past spring. Both were encouraged by the BCBA?s interest in being more involved with the CBA and are ready to help make that endeavor a success.
I invite all of you who are interested in being involved in either of the above to contact Laura Ruth or any Board member. You may also want to start working on your putt-putt game.