From the Office of the State Bar of Texas President
There is more to the practice of law than the business component that permits us to earn a living. There is the service aspect that requires us to be concerned about our clients and the communities in which we live. This has always been an obligation for those in our profession. We are not just lawyers or attorneys – we are also counselors-at-law.
The State Bar of Texas has achieved its present status because of the commitment, organization, and unity of action of the lawyers who have gone before us. If we are to continue to be successful, we must have that same unity of action. The State Bar will have a membership of 100,000 lawyers by the end of the year 2015. I believe that we must work together to strengthen our legal profession and to develop an esprit de bar. During my years in the United States Marine Corps, esprit de corps was a part of our DNA, where every Marine is accepted as a brother or sister – for life. How wonderful it would be if every Texas lawyer had that same passion for the legal profession and for the State Bar of Texas.
The growth of our profession has created a predictable problem for the State Bar: We seem to have difficulty in communicating effectively with all of our members. Our State Bar staff works diligently to keep our members informed about the many benefits, programs, and opportunities for service that the Bar offers. In spite of these efforts, the question I am asked most is this: “What do I get for my Bar dues — not programs, but economic benefits?” The answer is “a lot.” (see www.beneplace.com)
So, what can we do about this? Communication is the issue. We can attempt to disseminate information even more effectively or, simply stated, we can pass the word. Over the past year, I have reached out to specialty bar groups and will continue to talk to them and to our local bar associations to make certain that they are aware of what the State Bar offers to the lawyers of Texas. I shall be asking them to pass the word to their members, and I shall also ask our State Bar directors to do the same with the lawyers in their districts.
If we are successful, perhaps more of our members will realize that the State Bar serves each of us and calls each of us to serve. If that happens, we shall be well on our way to creating an esprit de bar. Will you work with me on this endeavor?