Oklahoma Bar Journal
2024 OBA President Miles Pringle: Welcoming Challenges, Embracing Change and Guiding the OBA into the Future
By Emily Buchanan Hart
Going on six years, Oklahoma City-based attorney Miles Pringle has served on the OBA Board of Governors, but his involvement in bar committees and sections spans more than a decade – since his first year out of law school in 2010. This year, Mr. Pringle, who currently works as executive vice president and general counsel at The Bankers Bank in Oklahoma City, takes the reins as OBA president – an undertaking he is greatly looking forward to.
Mr. Pringle has already hit the ground running, engaging with and listening to members during his year as president-elect and establishing some major goals for the OBA in 2024.
Born and raised in Oklahoma City, Mr. Pringle attended preschool and then Westminster School through eighth grade, where he played basketball and volleyball, as well as playing baseball with a traveling team. He then attended Heritage Hall, where he was active on both the basketball and track teams.
It was on his preschool T-ball team that he first met the love of his life, Andrea.
“We played T-ball together and went to school together from preschool through eighth grade,” he said.
The two lost touch after eighth grade but serendipitously met again a few years later.
“Andrea and I reconnected in early 2016 at a Preservation Oklahoma Inc. event,” he said. “We both ended up serving on the fundraiser committee. My friend told me I should ask Andrea out on a date. I said, ‘I’ve been wanting to do that since I was 6 years old.’”
The rest is history. The couple married in 2018 and now have two young sons, 4-year-old Fischer and 2-year-old Harrison.
“They’re sweet, very fun, and this is a cute age,” Mr. Pringle said of his children. “They’re the best part of life.”
The family enjoys living in Oklahoma City, often walking to breakfast on the weekends, followed by a park or zoo visit.
A LEGACY OF LAWYERS
For Mr. Pringle, family is number one. In addition to his wife and children, he is also very close with both parents, Lynn and Laura Pringle, and his sister, Susanne – all lawyers.
“My sister was not just my older sister and my babysitter, but she was my biggest supporter growing up,” Mr. Pringle said.
Mr. Pringle received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas, where he double majored in political science and history. An avid sports fan and an avowed “Roman history nerd,” he had briefly considered a career as a coach and history teacher but instead decided to go straight to law school.
“I come from a long line of lawyers, and I have a great respect for the profession,” Mr. Pringle said. “I like to joke I had to go to law school to understand what my family members were all talking about.”
Mr. Pringle is a third-generation attorney and the seventh attorney in his family, having the opportunity to attend law school at the same time as his sister – different schools but just a year behind her.
Following his graduation from law school at the University of Missouri – Kansas City in 2010, he considered many job offers. But the one that was most appealing was right back in his hometown of Oklahoma City.
“In 1988, my parents had established Pringle & Pringle,” he said. “Theirs was the best job offer I received, and I worked with them for nine years. I’m very fortunate to have practiced with them.”
It was during his time at Pringle & Pringle that Mr. Pringle also met David Poarch, former OBA president and Norman-based attorney. At the time, Mr. Poarch was working as special counsel to the firm. Alongside Mr. Pringle’s parents, Mr. Poarch served as a mentor and is whom Mr. Pringle credits with encouraging him to get involved with the bar association.
Mr. Pringle has now worked at The Bankers Bank for nearly five years following his nearly decade-long stint at his parents’ firm. While finding satisfaction and growth in his work, he has also found it important to give back to his bar association and his community from early on.
Fresh out of law school, he began serving on the OBA Financial Institutions and Commercial Law Section. He went on to serve on many other OBA committees, including the Legislative Monitoring Committee and the Membership Engagement Committee.
Mr. Pringle has also been involved in several other service organizations throughout the years, including his aforementioned service with Preservation Oklahoma, where he met his wife, and as a board member of Rainbow Fleet. He currently serves as a board member of the Rotary Club, the largest and oldest civic organization in Oklahoma.
“Work is a huge part of what we do, but it’s important to find other avenues to contribute,” Mr. Pringle said. “As a lawyer, you can kind of get trapped in a bubble. Serving keeps me connected to other things going on. I’m also pretty social, and being around people makes me happy.”
THE YEAR AHEAD
Mr. Pringle has outlined some major goals for the OBA for the upcoming year – ideas stemming from the results of the member survey conducted during his year as vice president on the Board of Governors, from conversations he’s had with attorneys across the state as well as in response to the changes that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.
First, the Annual Meeting this year will be a joint meeting with the Oklahoma Judicial Conference – a significant change that he hopes will be meaningful for OBA members.
“I believe this will be an impactful meeting,” Mr. Pringle said. “There will be opportunities to establish good relationships between attorneys who don’t already know each other and give members the opportunity to connect with members of the judiciary. I would love to see some new faces.”
Second, a refreshed strategic plan for the OBA is in the works – this is the first time in nearly 20 years that the OBA has updated its strategic plan.
The third goal is an increase in OBA member dues.
“The last member dues increase was approved in 2004,” he said. “The financial stewardship has lasted a long time, but we need to stay relevant and maintain top talent, position ourselves for the changes coming. We want to make sure the bar is impactful in furthering the administration of justice.”
The final major goal is strengthening meaningful and positive connections with OBA members.
“Our society has become so digital we’ve lost a lot of connection,” He said. “I want us to focus on human connection, healthy engagement. It’s better for our clients, better for our relationships with other attorneys, to meet and talk to people in person.”
Although many significant changes have occurred and more are coming, Mr. Pringle has not shied away from the opportunity to serve. He is embracing these challenges with open arms and is ready for the opportunity to help guide the OBA into the future.
“We may see more changes,” he said. “This is a big moment of change in society, and artificial intelligence will accelerate that change – the legal field is adapting more to digital and technology changes. But while the application may change, as lawyers, our principles don’t.”
Born and raised in Oklahoma City. Married to Andrea, two young sons – Fischer and Harrison. Currently working as general counsel and executive vice president at the Bankers Bank in northwest Oklahoma City.
Bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas, double major in political science and history; J.D. from the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Law in 2010.
Do you have any role models who have influenced your life or work?
My parents, whom I worked with for nine years; past OBA President David Poarch; OBA Governor Angela Ailles Bahm, who is a terrific leader – I admire what she’s done throughout her career; and my CEO, Troy Appling, who has taught me a lot about leadership.
Favorite OBA member benefit?
CLE – they put on some great programs.
Are there any other helpful resources OBA offers that more attorneys should take advantage of?
Ethics Counsel – You have access to a great attorney who helps confidentially through tricky questions and situations.
What are the biggest issues you see facing Oklahoma attorneys today?
Over-worked, but not always working effectively. We have more tools than ever, but that pulls us in more directions than ever, so we are less focused.
How does the OBA help address these issues?
They are always providing education, articles and in-person CLE.
Best advice for a young attorney or for someone considering taking this path?
Get a good mentor! Having someone to ask questions or talk through problems is the best resource. I was fortunate to have my parents.
Best work-life balance tip for attorneys?
Learn to say no – attorneys want to help, want to feel like they are needed and tend to say yes to everything. You have to say, “I’m not going to answer emails or calls after this time unless it’s super important.” Also, don’t take yourself too seriously.
What are some fun or interesting ways to get involved with the OBA?
You can write for the bar journal, help organize events with a committee, present a CLE session; there are so many ways to be involved.
Why is it important to get involved?
You get out of it what you put into it, and you can get something out of the OBA other than CLE: Professional development, develop friendships in every corner of state, develop your leadership skills.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ms. Buchanan Hart is the OBA assistant director of communications.
Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal – OBJ 95 No. 1 (January 2024)
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.