Oklahoma Bar Journal

The ‘Meat' of Meetings

By Janet Johnson

2022 President Jim Hicks, Executive Director Janet Johnson and President-Elect Miles Pringle meet with their counterparts from across the country during a series of bar leadership meeting in New Orleans.

            In February, I had my first opportunity to expand my circle of influence. I attended numerous meetings for bar leaders in positions like mine and other officer roles. These meetings took place in New Orleans. I was able to attend the Southern Conference of Bar Presidents, National Conference of Bar Professionals and American Bar Association meetings and programs. It was such a rewarding time with many takeaways. It left me wishing I had a way to share with you all the value of expanding your circle of influence. Then it occurred to me that I had this article to write,  which was my opportunity to share.

            First, the sense of fellowship was astounding. From discussions on specific areas of law to thoughts on overall improvements for members of the bar and the practice of law, it was a safe place to ask any question and discuss any topic. I am happy to say that I think I have formed the foundation for some lifelong friendships and worthy sounding boards.

            Next, I would be remiss if I did not mention all that New Orleans had to offer. The Louisiana State Bar was most hospitable. From food to history, there was much to enjoy. I can safely say that Louisiana was an amazing host, and I indulged in many, many oysters prepared in a variety of ways. All delicious, I must add. However, the highlight of their hosting was a second line to the Louisiana State Supreme Court, where we enjoyed a tour and saw many historical books dating to the 1500s. It was a memorable experience on a personal and professional level, and I am so glad I was lucky enough to experience it.

            Lastly, my biggest takeaway is to maintain the connections I made. This circle of influence will be a remarkable asset for myself and the Oklahoma bar membership. Learning from our peers and fellow bar associations is invaluable. Trends come and go; case law is overturned and new law is created. Staying on top of it all seems impossible. But with a good circle of influence, anything is possible.

            So I leave you with a personal challenge: Keep up with your Oklahoma Bar Journal, Courts & More and the OBA Communities pages. The sections and communities are a wonderful circle of influence. There is so much the OBA and local county bars have to offer. I challenge you to find a way to become more involved and attend some meetings or CLEs. You will be amazed by what our fellow members have to offer and how long-lasting relationships can be formed. And don’t forget, we love to expand our pool of contributors in our member-facing publications and CLE programming, so keep an eye out for those opportunities as well.

To contact Executive Director Johnson, email her at janetj@okbar.org.


Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal – OBJ 94 Vol 4 (April 2023)

Statements or opinions expressed in the Oklahoma Bar Journal are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Oklahoma Bar Association, its officers, Board of Governors, Board of Editors or staff.