Governance & Membership

President's Message - June 2024

Let's Meet Up at the Annual Meeting

By Miles Pringle

2024 OBA President Miles Pringle

It is important for attorneys to meet in person. Spending time with our colleagues will improve our careers, health and professional civility. Despite our move to a digital world, interpersonal relationships are as important as ever. According to the Journal of Management, “Networking can significantly impact one’s ability to establish contacts, get interviews for jobs, and identify and cultivate mentors.”[1] Moreover, building relationships improves our ability to influence and be an advocate for our clients.

Relationships are fundamental for mental and physical well-being. There is a body of evidence that demonstrates that well-maintained social relationships significantly reduce the risk of early mortality. Some researchers go so far as to argue that lacking meaningful relationships exceeds the risks of “obesity, air pollution, smoking, and physical inactivity.”[2] Attorney wellness not only optimizes performance but sustains us for long and fulfilling careers.

We also need to work on our civility. Conversing with emails and through social media comment sections has, in my humble opinion, been a detriment to professional conduct. Firing off an angry email strains (if not destroys) a professional relationship. Taking aim at individuals on social media is 1) not as anonymous as you may think and 2) does not create a productive dialogue. Coming together in person can help us better understand each other. We may not always agree, but hopefully, we can find mutual respect.

With all this in mind, I am excited about the OBA Annual Meeting this July 10-12 at the Embassy Suites in Norman. Since we have moved to the summer this year, the theme is “Summer School.” It will be a more relaxed setting for us all to get together with even more CLE activities and events to enjoy. Read more about this year’s Annual Meeting later in this issue, and be sure to visit www.okbar.org/annualmeeting for more information and to register.

For the first time in more than a decade, the Annual Meeting will be held in conjunction with the Oklahoma Judicial Conference. In addition to fewer conflicts, we hope this provides an opportunity for attorneys and judges to learn and network in a fun atmosphere. I think both conferences will benefit from the increased participation.

I sincerely hope to see you in Norman. Let’s build a friendship.

[1] Suzanne Janasz and Monica Forret, (2008), “Learning The Art of Networking: A Critical Skill for Enhancing Social Capital and Career Success,” Journal of Management Education.

[2] Robert Hudson, (2017), “Lack of Social Connectedness and Its Consequences,” Public Policy & Aging Report, 2017, Vol. 27, No. 4, 121–123.

Miles Pringle is executive vice president and general counsel at The Bankers Bank in Oklahoma City.

Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal – OBJ 95 Vol 6 (June 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.