Board of Governors on

President's Message

Back to the Future

By Kimberly Hays

As I look for inspiration to write my first president’s message, many thoughts race through my head. What does 2018 have in store for the OBA and our legal profession? What opportunities do we have to improve the practice of law for our members? Will anyone even read this? Does Amazon sell a crystal ball to tell me the future for my year as president, and is it eligible for Amazon Prime delivery? Could I find a DeLorean time machine from Back to the Future to help me answer these questions?

Sadly, the answer to the last two questions appears to be “no.” Because I was really looking forward to the DeLorean option, I have decided my first president’s message will be a Back to the Future experience. With the hard work of our Board of Governors, OBA staff and amazing OBA members, I am hopeful these predictions will be true when I write my last president’s message. (Cue Huey Lewis and the News’ Back in Time.) 


Many past presidents told me the 12 months of my presidency would go by much faster than I expect. They were correct. As 2018 ends, I find it a challenge to describe, in this limited space, all our accomplishments.

The future of our profession is rapidly changing. Your association is dedicated to identifying those opportunities and offering our members the tools and resources to successfully navigate the challenges our profession is experiencing. I am thankful to everyone who dedicated their time and creative thoughts to the task force established this year to examine and make recommendations for future programs to address the challenges presented by the changing demographics of our membership.

The Solo & Small Firm Conference took place June 21-23, 2018, in a new venue – the River Spirit Casino in Tulsa. The attendees and their families enjoyed the new facility and many family-oriented activities, and lawyers were offered multiple diverse CLE topics. 

Our OBA 114th Annual Meeting was held Nov. 7-9, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Tulsa, and was a huge success. Special thanks to ALL my fellow Tulsa lawyers who attended. Your support of my year as president and of the OBA Annual Meeting was the highlight of my year. The tradition of coming together, in person, as professionals and colleagues is an invaluable resource.

During 2018, our members continued the important work of educating the public about our selection of appellate judges, the retention election and the importance of a fair and impartial judiciary. We must continue to educate our citizens. 

Carol Manning and her department deserve high praises for the improvements to our Oklahoma Bar Journal. The new theme issues are beautiful, and our members easily transitioned to receiving the court issues electronically, and the cost savings to your association is substantial. 

 In January 2018, I encouraged everyone to become engaged in YOUR bar association, and I am pleased to report that you accepted the challenge. Thanks to the BlueJeans video-conferencing service, lawyers around the state participated in committee and section meetings without having to leave their offices. Our volunteers for Oklahoma Lawyers for America’s Heroes and the Free Legal Answers programs dedicated hundreds of hours to these important OBA programs. 

Thank you again for allowing me the privilege of serving as your president. It has been an honor! I am so proud of the strength and unity of our bar association and its 17,800 members.

Now, where are Einstein the dog and that DeLorean?

Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- OBJ 89 pg. 4 (January 2018)