Governance & Membership
I find it a challenge to describe in this limited space all the 2018 accomplishments. Highlights include the Solo & Small Firm Conference in a new venue – Tulsa’s River Spirit Casino Resort, where attendees and their families enjoyed the new facility and multiple diverse CLE topics. The OBA 114th Annual Meeting in Tulsa was a success with outstanding and well-attended CLE. Kim & Alan’s House Party with the ‘80s theme was enjoyed by the many attendees. Special thanks to ALL my fellow Tulsa attorneys who attended. Your support of my year as president and of the OBA Annual Meeting was the highlight of my year.
The practice of law can be energizing, challenging and stressful. Each day in the office we are faced with deadlines, managing client emotions and interacting with opposing counsel. At the same time we are seeking balance for our family time, outside interests and attempting to maintain our own physical and mental health. We are tethered to our phones and laptops 24/7. That can increase our stress and lead to a feeling of never getting off the “hamster wheel” of the practice of law. We accept the high-stress atmosphere as a cost of doing business in the legal profession.
The month of October is a busy time for sports fans. Football games with a chill in the air; basketball on the horizon (Go Thunder!) and the MLB race for the pennant is coming down to the wire. Some of you might enjoy the camaraderie of the tailgate as much as the sport itself. The pregame festivities offer the opportunity to talk about recent events or catch up with friends. We proudly wear the team colors, pack up and head to the stadium or host a watch party for the game. We take pride in our team, which can lead to spirited debates between friends – Go Pokes!
My dad took me to my first OBA Annual Meeting in 1993. I was a brand-new lawyer. I attended CLE, a luncheon and spent time with dad as he stopped to talk with fellow lawyers. I watched him have serious conversations with some colleagues and then engage in a group discussion recounting stories from recent trials or law school survival stories. Dad explained why it was important to attend the Annual Meeting each year. In addition to the CLE and OBA business, the networking and social connections made during the OBA Annual Meeting are invaluable resources to both newly admitted attorneys and long-time Annual Meeting attendees.
Who is your favorite superhero? I find it a challenge to select just one: Superman, Batman, Supergirl, Captain America, Wonder Woman, Power Rangers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, X-Men, Avengers or the Incredibles. A superhero is defined as “a fictional hero having extraordinary or superhuman powers; also: an exceptionally skillful or successful person.”1
The month of May is busy – schools recess for summer, graduation celebrations and a chance to be outside enjoying all that our beautiful state has to offer – before we start feeling the 100-degree Oklahoma heat. Law students have successfully completed a challenging year of learning the law, and the graduating law students begin studying for the bar exam. We all lead different lives, while at the same time we, as attorneys, are joined by our common respect for, and knowledge of, the law.
Law Day is May 1, and I hope you are planning to be a part of the important day. Your county bar association is planning local events, and our OBA Law Day Committee is putting the finishing touches on our OBA celebrations. This year the Oklahoma Bar Association will be celebrating the 67th anniversary of Law Day. The year 2018 will mark the 42nd year OBA members are offering free legal advice to the public. The Ask A Lawyer TV show will air May 3 at 7 p.m. on OETA.
The month of March is a fantastic time for sports fans. In our house we love sports. Our daughter is a member of her college dance team, and our son is a high school baseball player. Our family, like many others, spent a few weeks watching the XXIII Olympic Winter Games. We cheer for the NBA Thunder, and we follow the MLB spring training games as we wait for Opening Day, March 29. Of course, this month the NCAA basketball tournament is the centerpiece of our sports talk. From Selection Sunday through the Final Four, we are checking our brackets.
The month of February brings to mind images of cold weather, Valentine’s Day and Sweetheart conversation hearts – those chalky candy hearts only sold during February for Valentine’s Day. Created by the NECCO candy company more than 150 years ago, each conversation heart is imprinted with a message such as “Be Mine” and “Kiss Me.” The candy company tries to keep current with the times by adding new phrases each year such as “LOL,” “Text Me” and “Tweet Me.”
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?