Presidents Column: Honoring the Profession
Do Your Part, Go Local
In Dallas right now, there is a movement that makes me very proud. I see it when I go to grocery stores, farmer’s markets, restaurants, art and film festivals, neighborhood shops, and live entertainment venues. I am sure you are familiar with it, too. There is an increased focus on buying local food, using local ingredients, supporting local artists, and shopping at local stores. The people of Dallas and surrounding areas want to encourage the development of a sustainable, diverse, unique community in their own hometown. They believe the best way to do that is to support the local talent, products, and businesses, and I agree with them.
I believe that the same logic which causes people to “go local” within the community applies to their bar association as well. The Dallas Bar Association is your local bar association. Our programs and charities are for the benefit of the citizens of Dallas and our local legal community. When you give to the Dallas Bar Association—be it a donation of time, money, or expertise—that donation goes directly into your neighborhood and your city. With your generosity, we send lawyers to local schools to teach and mentor our youth about the law, we hold public forums to raise awareness about local issues within the community, we provide continuing legal education to our members, we build houses in our neighborhoods, and perhaps most importantly, our Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program provides legal advice and representation to the poor, disenfranchised members of our community who would otherwise not have access to our system of justice.
We cannot do these things without you and your support. It is because we have a membership, both large and involved, that we are able to concentrate our efforts and impact the community in significant ways. Whether you are a solo practitioner out of Irving or a partner at a firm actually headquartered in Washington D.C., you are a lawyer practicing in Dallas, Texas, and I encourage you to “go local” when you volunteer your time or donate your money to a charity. Dallas is our home. Let’s do our part to support the schools, lawyers, and community that will surround us throughout our careers.
Upcoming events that primarily benefit our Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program are Law Jam, a Battle-of-the-Bands event at the highly regarded Granada Theater on August 20; the Pro Bono Golf Tournament, held at Cowboys Golf Club on May 5; and Bar None, a variety show with law-related song and dance will be held June 15-18 and benefits the Hughes Scholarship. These are three fun events that ultimately support great local causes. Please participate, volunteer, or sponsor these events. If you are interested, please contact Cathy Maher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The month of May marks one of our signature events at the Dallas Bar Association. Law Day is observed every year in schools and bar associations across the United States in celebration of our nation’s commitment to the rule of law. This year, Kirby Drake, of Klemchuk Kubasta, and James Holmes, of The Schmidt Firm, have once again done an excellent job co-chairing the Law Day committee. I asked them to stay in these positions for an extra year, and I am so grateful to them for agreeing to do so and for what they have accomplished. They work hand-in-hand with the schools to administer the Law Day art, photo, and essay competitions in the Dallas ISD and present a mock voir dire demonstration to the students in Judges Martin Hoffman’s andKenneth Molberg’s Civil District Courts. Participating attorneys include Lisa Blue, of Baron & Blue, and Richard Sayles, of Sayles Werbner, P.C., just to name a few. It is so important in the development of these kids to give them opportunities to learn and reinforce their knowledge of justice using creative methods.
Their hard work culminates at the Law Day Luncheon on May 13 at the Belo Mansion. We are honored to celebrate Law Day with a keynote speech from Chief Judge of the Northern District of Texas, Judge Sidney Fitzwater, who will be introduced by Tim Mountz of Baker Botts. The luncheon will also celebrate the winners of the school competitions, and we will present the DAYL awards. It will be a day that makes you feel proud to be a lawyer in this great nation, and I hope that you will join us.
Also in May, the Dallas Bar Association is offering the first of two seminars on Media Training. It will be a half-day morning seminar on Monday, May 16. This session, “Lights! Camera! Courtroom!” will be presented by Mike Androvett, Mark Annick, and Mary Flood of Androvett Legal Media. All three of these presenters have over 20 years of experience working in the media, and Mr. Androvett and Ms. Flood are also licensed attorneys. Their program will teach you about the world of editors and reporters in print and broadcast journalism and demonstrate for you how to interact effectively as a lawyer when the media wants to talk to you.
I believe the most important service the Dallas Bar provides its members is free continuing legal education. This is one of those special opportunities to attend a highly specialized, and normally very expensive, seminar for free. Thank you to the Androvett Legal Media team, and I look forward to seeing you there. Thank you also to Media Relations Committee Chairs Lindsay Hedrick, of Jones Day, and Shannon Teicher, of Jackson Walker.
Dragon Boat, Kite and Lantern Festival
A fun and family friendly experience is the Dragon Boat, Kite, and Lantern Festival in Las Colinas on Sunday, May 15. Our sister bar, the Dallas Asian American Bar Association has put together a team for the Dragon Boat Race and will compete against a team comprised of DBA Board of Directors and our other sister bars. Even if you aren’t a member of the boat team, it would be a great opportunity to come out and support the DBA and its sister bars. Check it out at www.dfwdragonboatfestival.com.
To all of the board of directors, as well as chairs and vice-chairs of committees and sections who have already successfully completed a number seminars, events, programs, and initiatives, I appreciate all of your hard work. Keep up the good work as we move on through the year. Thank you for the extra effort!