In August, 2013, the Saint Louis University School of Law, where I proudly serve as the Assistant Dean for Student Services, will be moving to its new location in downtown St. Louis. The students, faculty and staff with whom I have the pleasure of working every day are certainly excited about being in a new state of the art facility. However, one of the most exciting aspects of this move is that we will now be physically located in one of the hearts of the local legal profession, thus opening up great opportunities for our students and strengthening the law school’s ties to the metropolitan legal community - a great community of which BAMSL has been an integral part since 1874.
I have been a member BAMSL since I became licensed to practice almost 17 years ago. I joined BAMSL because I wanted to strengthen my own ties to the legal community, develop professionally, and establish personal and professional relationships with my fellow members of the bar. BAMSL has worked for me by providing these opportunities throughout my career. I have always believed it is my duty as a lawyer to give back to the profession and the community, so I became even more active in the organization. Now as I write this message for the web site, it is hard to fully express how honored I am to be BAMSL’s President and have the privilege to serve our members and our community. I also feel a great sense of enthusiasm for what BAMSL can accomplish in this bar year and in the future.
But before turning to the future, I want to specifically acknowledge Heather Hays, our now Immediate Past-President, for the great year that has just ended. Heather’s leadership has helped BAMSL accomplish much, including the move to our outstanding new headquarters and provided the momentum to continue to serve our members this coming year and beyond.
So as we look forward, what is this bar year going to be about? I want to build our community, while keeping with BAMSL’s mission "to maintain the highest professional standards among attorneys, to enhance the professional competence of attorneys, to improve the administration of justice, to serve the needs of members, and to provide law-related services and education to the public”.
In preparing for my year as President, I have attended conferences and programs with leaders of other local bar associations from around the country. BAMSL is an outstanding bar association in the eyes of these other leaders, and I want to remind our own community of this as well. To be outstanding, we must continue to focus on member benefits and services, and our role in the community. In other words, what is the value that we get for our membership in BAMSL? As an organization we must always evaluate what we do for our existing members and how we can encourage new members to join. But we also must make sure that BAMSL is effectively communicating with our members about our benefits and services and the work we do for the legal profession and community. I hope to spend much time this year focusing more specifically on the benefits and services that BAMSL provides.
BAMSL can be proud of the outstanding public service projects that have become signature events each year for the legal community and community at large. Through programs such as Call-A-Lawyer, Lawyers for City Neighborhoods, the Missouri High School Mock Trial Competition, Motion for Kids, Read Across America and others, our members provide valuable services to our community. Through BAMSL’s advocacy and public education on behalf of our courts and the justice system we raise issues related to the administration of justice and professionalism. BAMSL will continue to make this an important part of our association and I encourage members to increase their participation in these valuable endeavors.
As important as the public service we provide, we must continue our commitment to the direct benefits to members’ practices and professional development. Joining and becoming active in BAMSL’s many sections and committees can assist you in the areas of your law practice or in non-practice areas that are of interest to you. Take advantage of outstanding and affordable CLE programs and conferences, both in real time and online, including the free CLE programs offered every month. BAMSL will also continue to provide tangible benefits such as discounts on products and services, publications, and legal placement, and lawyer referral services. And visit and utilize the new BAMSL headquarters with office, meeting and conference space available for member use.
BAMSL also provides opportunities to build personal and professional relationships. Programs such as the Bench and Bar Conference, Holiday Party, Law Day, YLD Family Picnic and monthly YLD Happy Hours allow members to network, mingle and socialize outside of the office or the courtroom and have fun at the same time.
I look forward to working with our members and prospective members. Ultimately BAMSL’s officers, Board of Governors, committee chairs, and staff are committed to assuring that members get the most value for their membership. To do so, I welcome any suggestions and ideas for how BAMSL can improve our existing services and benefits to you. And if you want to get more involved, please do not hesitate to contact me or the BAMSL staff.
BAMSL is here to work for you - our members. My own experience has shown that BAMSL has worked for me. To get the most out of your membership, I encourage you, your friends, and your colleagues to become actively involved by participating in our programs, joining sections and committees, and attending events. Let BAMSL work for you and let’s continue to build our community.
Once again, it is my honor and pleasure to serve the members of BAMSL as President. I am excited for what we can accomplish.