Presidents Column: Honoring the Profession
Serving as President of the Dallas Bar Association for 2011 has been an absolute privilege. When I chose for my theme for this year ‘Honoring the Profession,’ I made that decision based on my years of experience as a lawyer in this city. I knew we had a legal community full of lawyers, judges, and legislators who have purposed themselves to the great task of upholding the rule of law. I wanted to recognize and reinforce the sense of meaning we can take from engaging in the practice of law in a free society. I still believe that is unspeakably important, but I learned that this profession deserves honor for its work outside the courtroom as well. Throughout the year, I witnessed our lawyers, members of the Dallas Bar Association, doing all kinds of good things. From building houses, to providing quality CLEs, to lending a hand to Dallas ISD students— what we do at the Dallas Bar Association matters. The Dallas Bar Association allows us to make our legal community stronger and, therefore, make our community at-large stronger.
This work could not be done without extensive participation from our members and exceptional commitments from our leaders. I would like to thank all of you who participated this year in a Dallas Bar Association activity or program. We literally could not be the organization that we are without you.
To the 2011 Board of Directors:Thank you for your judgment and thoughtful participation in the direction of the Dallas Bar Association. Thank you for bringing your insight and expertise to help us grow together in a respectful and collegial environment.
To the Section and Committee Chairs and Co-Chairs:Thank you for your commitment to leading your groups. The success of a section or committee can often be directly correlated to the effort put in by its chairs. You all took responsibility for your groups and worked hard to provide us with special, relevant presentations and well-orchestrated programs. Thank you for your hard work.
To Cathy Maher and the DBA Staff:Thank you for your work to make each event at the Belo Mansion consistently both special and professional. Your experience and guidance are unmatched and highly appreciated. Thank you for everything you do.
To the Presenters at Dallas Bar CLE Courses: Thank you for sharing your experience and expertise with other members of your section and with the Dallas Bar membership. By providing guidance to strengthen the craft of your brothers and sisters of the bar, you help improve the quality of law practiced in our city for everyone.
To the Participants in the Criminal Justice Forum:Thank you to the judges, prosecutors, and defense lawyers who came to the Belo to engage in a dialogue about criminal justice in Dallas. The willingness by all sides of our criminal justice system, and its various leaders, to open the floor to a discussion on efficiency and improvements is a praiseworthy testament to what criminal justice in Dallas is right now and what it can be in the future.
To the Participants in Minority and Diversity Programs:Thank you for putting into action the Dallas Bar Association’s invitation to any and all lawyers in the community to join the Dallas Bar Association, regardless of race, gender, or religion. Thank you for opening your doors.
To the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program:Thank you for providing legal services to the needy. Competent legal representation can change any client’s life, especially if that person has nowhere else to turn for aid or remedy. Thank you for taking the time to make a difference to this important, though often neglected, part of our population.
To the Contributors to the Equal Access to Justice Campaign:Thank you for your contribution. The Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program would not have the resources to provide legal assistance to the indigent without you. Thank you.
Thank you for your work and for your commitment. I look forward to following the progress of the Dallas Bar Association with much greater understanding of its reach and import within our city and to seeing Paul Stafford take the helm for 2012. Good luck, Paul, and thank you all.