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President’s Message

Tuesday, June 2, 2015
posted by admin

 

R.  Lai

By the time anyone reads this column, we will hopefully be concluding another fantastic Bar Picnic and will have also enjoyed a wonderful Installation Dinner in which we inaugurate Kevin Walker as our 84th President and welcome several new trustees.  Approximately a year ago, I mentioned that the greatest asset of our Bar Association is our membership and its collegiality.  Over the past year, I have had that confirmed again and again.  Certainly, Kevin is a person who brings both vision and energy to everything that he does.

In reflecting over the past year, the main question I’m asked is whether the Presidency is what I expected it to be.  That is a difficult question to answer.  There have certainly been numerous speaking engagements and other opportunities to reach out to the Burlington County community.  However, there are more administrative issues that arise with regard to a 1,000 member organization than I would have ever realized.  We are lucky to have Kara Edens as our Executive Director.  Her efforts certainly make life easy for us.

In looking ahead, I hope that our Association will continue to answer the needs of its members.  Our profession has certainly been a more and more difficult one.  For those in private practice, finding and keeping good clients is as difficult as ever.  At the same time, cost pressures keep impacting the way we all run our offices and actually run our practices.  In trying to respond to these evolving pressures, we’ve tried to present more seminars that address marketing, client development, and technology.  I’m hopeful that we will continue to present programs that focus on the fundamental needs of our members beyond the academics of law.

I’ve been asked whether I’ll be a Past-President who still appears at Bar Association events.  Over the years, I’ve often been asked about Bar Association functions. People usually ask me about the “schmooze” factor that may be expected at these events.  My usual response is that after showing up a couple of times, attending our events feels less like networking and more like a night out with friends.  Our dinners (particularly the two free ones) are always great opportunities to catch up with people.  However, the one thing I’ll be glad to relinquish is the responsibility of trying to quiet the room before introducing our formal speakers.

Finally, I could not be more proud of the fact that we’ve welcomed two new Judges to the Superior Court over the past year.  Both were local attorneys who are longtime members of our Association.  I was certainly pleased that our Association could help in a small way as they advanced to becoming members of our Superior Court bench.  However, our Association should be thankful that our bench continues to give back and remember where they came from.   We can always count on our judiciary to support our events and efforts in the community and of course we will continue to do the same for them.  Best of luck to Kevin Walker as he becomes our 84th President and I’ll see you at the picnic!

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