State Bar Director Spotlight

Jarrod Foerster

Interview by Eric Quitugua

Photo by Marie Langmore

Position: Co-founder and managing principal of Flagship Capital Partners in Houston
Board Member: Public member since 2017

Flagship Capital Partners is one of the preeminent specialty finance companies in the Southwest.

We provide equity and debt capital through a variety of custom-tailored structures to entrepreneurs who acquire all types of commercial real estate assets with a compelling value-add story.

As a businessperson, I am an active consumer of legal services.

I also care deeply about a competent and unbiased judiciary. I was contacted by the Texas Supreme Court about my interest in serving on the board of directors of the State Bar of Texas. I’ve long had an interest in public service and this opportunity allowed me to do that in an area that I care a great deal about.

The board of directors is a large and diverse group of great individuals, each with a unique perspective on the legal profession and how to govern it.

Serving on a public board of this size is much different than running a business. Finding common ground and building consensus amongst my fellow directors is an absolutely critical part of this job.

I have long been an admirer of attorneys and the work that they do.

In fact, I planned my undergraduate education with the goal of attending law school. I got sidetracked and ended up pursuing a business career but have continued to admire the lawyers I work with. The opportunity to serve the bar as a public member of the board was a way to interact with many talented fellow directors and help promote the profession I admire so much.

It is important to recognize and treasure Texas lawyers’ right to self-regulation.

In a world where government rules and regulation are on the increase, the lawyers of Texas are privileged to be afforded the right to determine the rules that regulate them.

I think it is paramount that board members understand and appreciate exactly how well the bar is managed.

In recent years, there has been an attempt by some to assert that the bar is wasteful and inefficient with how it spends its resources. The board has worked closely with Immediate Past President Joe K. Longley and President Randy Sorrels to scrutinize each line item in the budget to ensure that each and every expenditure is justified.

It is important to pay attention to what is going on at the state bar level.

I’d encourage all members to attend a board meeting or two, pay attention to items the board is considering, and provide their input, either through their elected director or in the public comment period of each meeting. Let your voice be heard. Participate in elections for directors and president-elect.

The bar can always do more.

We have worked to continue the bar’s funding and involvement in Texas Access to Justice, which helps provide pro bono legal services to clients in need. The bar has also committed significant resources to develop and launch the Texas Opportunity & Justice Incubator, or TOJI, a legal incubator designed to provide practical, real-world training for entrepreneurial lawyers while chipping away at the unmet legal needs of average Texas residents.

Improving transparency has been one of the main objectives of the bar.

Much work has been done, including a first-ever transparency audit, to improve the way that the bar communicates with its members and the public. These efforts should continue.TBJ


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