Oklahoma Bar Journal

From the Executive Director | How We Roll

By John Morris Williams

Several articles I have read recently relating to the continuous stress all segments of society have been subjected to in the last two years caused me some alarm. The legal community has not been immune. I do believe that as a community, we may have some important skills that will help us all through these tough times. Lawyers are trained and equipped to find solutions in demanding situations. I have often said that every problem society cannot or will not solve ends up in the judicial system. To borrow a pedestrian term, “That is how we roll.”

During the last two years, the legal community has advanced approximately 10 years in the use of technology. It is now common to interact with clients and even make court appearances utilizing video technology. The pace of technology and its application to the practices of law has long been predicted; however, no one foresaw the compacted timeframe forced on us by the pandemic. Yet, we mastered it. That is how we roll.

Early on, I was hopeful COVID would end quickly and things would quickly return to “normal.” Obviously, those hopes were short-lived, and as we move into the beginning of year three, things still look uncertain. However, I am optimistic about the future and for good reasons. The OBA remains in solid financial condition, our staff is top notch and agile and we have talented and experienced elected leadership. That is how we roll.

I now understand the term “the new normal.” The new normal is to assess the situation, gain a clear understanding of the objective and see what tools are at hand to make it happen. Not much different than sometimes in the day-to-day practice of law – except you must wear a mask and social distance. That is how we roll.

Our mission at the OBA is still the same: to provide enhancement to the professional lives of our members. I am mindful that the community we serve is no different than the community at large in the sense that all of us have been under a tremendous amount of stress adapting to a world that two years ago we could not have imagined. After continued reading on COVID stressors, I was reminded that I am part of a dynamic, problem-solving, intelligent and durable community that often operates under continuous stress, and we have important skills to bring to the forefront. Realizing our objectives are the same, regardless of the situation, we have the tools to make it happen. Most of those tools are the same ones we have always used. While technology certainly plays a hand in how we communicate, problem-solving and innovative thinking under pressure are our greatest assets. These are essential skills of lawyering. That is how we roll.

To say our community is immune from the common problems of the day would be naïve. If we continue to stay engaged and support each other, I know we can face every challenge and muster the tools necessary to meet every objective. It has been my observation that in some segments of our society, people are looking much harder for confrontations than solutions. As we move forward into 2022, we as the legal community, more so than any other community, have a sworn obligation to look hard for solutions. That is how we roll.

Regardless of the challenges ahead of us in 2022, I passionately believe that as a community, we shall meet our objectives and assemble the tools necessary to get the job done. That is how we roll.

Please let us know how we can help you meet your objectives and assist you with the tools necessary to get the job done. That is how we roll.


To contact Executive Director Williams, email him at johnw@okbar.org.

Oklahoma Bar Journal – OBJ 93 Vol 2 (February 2022)