DBA State Bar President’s Update
By Buck Files
It is an honor to be serving you as President of the State Bar of Texas.
In March of 2011, I was a candidate for the office of president-elect and spent 26 days and 25 nights on the road. Six of these days were in Dallas. As I did in every city, I went from firm to firm, meeting as many lawyers as I could and listening to their comments—both positive and negative—about the State Bar of Texas and the legal profession.
What concerned me most was that I heard lawyers talking about the State Bar in terms of them and they and it. I realized that—no matter how hard that we had been trying—the word was not getting out to the lawyers of Texas as to what the State Bar had been doing, was doing and intended to do.
Bill Elliott, a member of the Dallas Bar Association, gave me great advice as to what I should do as President of the State Bar. He said, “Don’t spend your time in a tuxedo or in the bar offices in Austin. Get out and visit with the lawyers of Texas.”
Over the past two months, I have done just that at State Bar functions and at local bar association meetings and have gone to the courthouses in Lubbock, Fort Worth, Galveston and San Antonio. These courthouse visits have given me the opportunity to meet with 50 judges and to have conversations with them about the Lawyers Creed, professionalism, ethics and civility. Over the next 10 months, I will continue to travel around Texas and listen to as many lawyers and judges as I can. I understand that it is critical for the leadership of the State Bar of Texas to understand what the working lawyers and judges of Texas are saying—and to respond to them.
I am aware of the wonderful work that the members of the Dallas Bar have done for our legal profession and for the people of their community. Dallas attorney Frank Stevenson is the current Chair of the Board of Directors and Beverly Godbey is the Immediate Past Chair. We also have great bar directors from Dallas: Larry Boyd, Christina Melton Crain, Andy Payne, Ike Vanden Eykel and Michele Wong Krause. Over the next 10 months, you will receive emails from them and from the State Bar keeping you abreast of what we are accomplishing and asking for your enthusiasm and participation.
As those of you who read the Texas Bar Journal already know, my goal is for us to have an esprit d’ bar. We should have pride in our great profession. We should be committed to working for the good of our profession. And, we should accept every other member of the profession as our brother or our sister.
The State Bar staff has produced a DVD entitled I am the Bar. It is six minutes in length and reflects the absolute diversity of the State Bar of Texas. Watch it and you will conclude that you are 1/90,000th of the State Bar.
I invite you to work with me to strengthen our legal profession.