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Oklahoma Bar Journal

The Back Page | A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to the CLE Department

By Janet K. Johnson

The year was 2020. We were six months into it and full-on into the worldwide pandemic. The ways we all work and live had been thrown into chaos and everything was changing. It was amid this uncertain time that I had an “a-ha moment.”

I have had mixed results when the a-ha moment strikes me. Sometimes they lead to new opportunities. Sometimes they lead to bangs after a hair appointment.

This particular pandemic day, I paused writing a sovereign citizen brief to ponder my a-ha moment of pursuing a career change. In what might be described as serendipity, there was an Oklahoma Bar Journal on my home office desk, so I started flipping through it, all the way to the back pages and the job postings, until I saw the ad for the director of Educational Programs at the OBA. I was ready for the change in my career, and the position appealed to my desire for a new challenge, a way to stay close to the law and an opportunity to help all my fellow attorneys in the state.

Some might say I’m a glutton for punishment. But I thought it would be fun to figure out how to provide OBA members with relevant and quality programming, all while learning to do it in a virtual world with no in-person component during a global pandemic

Was I pursuing it for the right reasons? Was I doing it to be cool? Did I think it would disguise my imposter syndrome?

Those were definitely the reasons that led to what I now call, “The Bang Fiasco of 2018.” As traumatizing as that was, my hair did grow out. And through an interviewing process that included masks, social distancing and what seemed like at least 20 people, socially distanced and encircling me in the interview, I got the job!

Some might say I’m a glutton for punishment. But I thought it would be fun to figure out how to provide OBA members with relevant and quality programming, all while learning to do it in a virtual world with no in-person component during a global pandemic. Somehow, we did that for the last half of 2020 and most of 2021.

It is interesting that I have only been working in this role during a pandemic, and I have yet to meet many OBA members who traditionally participate in many live CLE programs. Those traditional live CLE events are coming back with great speakers, compelling topics and lunch! We’ll continue pursuing our virtual courses, as online programming is definitely here to stay.

Unlike my bang fiasco, this a-ha pivot has been fulfilling and challenging. Our CLE team continues working on programming to provide you with a wide array of CLE options that are interesting and applicable to your practice. We’ve also enjoyed new partnerships with OBA sections and committees to help produce additional CLE. We are just an email or a call away to hear your ideas.

See the roster of OBA CLE programs via all of the usual channels – weekly emails, social media, okbar.org and the Oklahoma Bar Journal.

It’s a new year with new possibilities. My advice is to really think hard about getting bangs but pursue the serendipity that comes your way and what OBA CLE has to offer. And if you’re looking for a new opportunity, flip through your Oklahoma Bar Journal and note that the OBA classifieds are now also online!

 

Ms. Johnson is the OBA director of Educational Programs.

Oklahoma Bar Journal – OBJ 93 Vol 1 (January 2022)