From the Office of the State Bar of Texas President

Lisa Tatum

As the lawyers of Texas, we are a remarkable group of highly educated individuals.  Together we are an elaborate tapestry of strategic approaches, methodologies, talents, skill sets, and practice areas that is further enhanced by our ages, backgrounds, geographic locations, lifestyles, and personal aspirations.

Our investment in and engagement with our bar has the ability to profoundly impact the society in which we live—the law, our profession, our businesses, and our community. In April, I invited every Texas lawyer to learn more about the bar, identify aspects of the bar they believe could be improved, and work to implement that improvement. Nearly 93,000 actively practicing attorneys working together can be an incredible work group. Together, we can resolve issues and meet the legal needs of Texas citizens and our clients. We can move this bar forward.  Progress is a chain of action. Positive action, whether in small ways, in a deluge of energy and effort, or in progressive waves – leads to progress. 

To progress, we must understand what our bar does as an association, participate, and take responsibility for making our profession better. There will be a number of conversations to identify and address issues facing attorneys taking place this year, and I ask our members to engage in those conversations either directly, through a committee member, or through your director. We may not get to all of the issues but with participation we can make progress.

I am also asking everyone to actively promote and participate in this year’s presidential initiatives—the Care Kit and I was first. Vote for me! The Care Kit is designed to enhance the incredible pro bono efforts already conducted across the state. It is part of a statewide Care Campaign, an effort to raise visibility, and encourage pro bono legal services. The Care Kit provides local bar associations and other attorney groups all of the tools needed to conduct a legal services clinic, regardless of the number of volunteers. More information can be found at TexasBar.com/care. I was first. Vote for me! is a remarkable tool for Texas elementary school educators in the area of civics education that also gives elementary school students the opportunity to learn about attorneys and important firsts in our society. To access the education tools, visit TexasBar.com/iwasthefirst.

The opportunities created by these initiatives and the opportunities we seize by increasing the dialogue amongst ourselves gives us, as a professional association, a chance to build and improve our future. Together we can get in front of the issues that are significant to us and move closer to drive mode as it relates to things impacting our legal community.

The State Bar of Texas must continue to be a valuable resource to Texas attorneys. Many attorneys know about the many options for continuing legal education, the confidential help for legal professionals who suffer from substance abuse or mental health issues, and many of the other benefits, programs, and services that the bar offers. There are many more lawyers who do not know. 

My goal is to continue to get the word out. Our association has embarked on an improved communications plan that embraces technology, including targeted emails, social media messages on Facebook and Twitter, improved website content, Flickr and Pinterest posts, and video blogging. We can already see that our reach has expanded through our daily tweets and Facebook posts about events, member services, MCLE notices, the Texas Bar Journal, and web content.

The State Bar of Texas has a dedicated and committed board, committee and section members, and hard-working volunteers who put their best face forward as practitioners who make an impact in their local communities. The State Bar of Texas also has you. We are at a place where increased investment and greater engagement can really move us forward. It is up to us to know what the bar does, to participate, and to take responsibility for making our profession better. 

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