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November 2015 – How to Be A Successful Bar Association

Please allow me to be blunt – this or any other volunteer organization can only provide quality member benefits by members giving of their time to lead, organize, and participate in association programs, activities, and events. If you seek greater member benefits from this organization (and you should), I suggest that you first find ways to make a contribution of your time and talent to the association and its activities. We all know that you get out of something what you put into it – and this professional organization is no different. I also believe that we all have a lot to gain by more widespread involvement by more of our members. Taking the first step is the hardest, especially when you are new to an organization and may not know many people in the group. Call or email me, any board member, any committee chair, or any of our office staff as they will help you find a way to get more involved in the NWSBA.

UPDATES

Get active in a substantive law committee – A great way to start to meet other members, improve your knowledge and skills, and gain some CLE credits is to get involved with a substantive law committee. Many of the substantive committee chairs are working hard and putting on regular monthly 1 hour committee meetings. Attendance is free and you can obtain 1 hour of CLE, networking, and mentoring opportunities. The substantive law committees are also vetting and contributing forms in their area of practice to create a Forms Bank, available as a free member benefit to NWSBA members. So, make a contribution by pulling out one of your most effective and useful forms and send it over to the substantive law committee coordinator of the substantive law committee you just joined, and before long we will have a valuable bank of legal forms exclusively for our members’ use. See page 13 for a list of regularly scheduled Committee Meetings. Please note that dates, times and locations are subject to change, so always consult the NWSBA Event Calendar for the most up-to-date-infirmation.

Pro Bono Volunteer Recognition Lunch – Pro Bono Committee Co-Chair, Janet Maxwell Wickett, organized our annual volunteer lawyer recognition lunch this year. The other co-chairs of the Pro Bono Committee are: Jonathan Anderson, Robert Kaplan, and Lance Ziebell. Several judges attended the luncheon and helped us recognize over 30 pro bono volunteers who (together with the other 23 NWSBA pro bono volunteer lawyers who were unable to attend the luncheon) donated over 500 hours of volunteer legal services at the Rolling Meadows Courthouse last year. Presiding Judge Maki, Judge Reibman, Judge Levinson, and Judge Kelley each voiced their appreciation for the volunteer legal services our members regularly and selflessly provide to our community at the Rolling Meadows Courthouse. Five of our members were chosen for special recognition, based on their individual contributions of more than 20 hours of volunteer legal services each this past year: Joel Weiner, Sandra Stermer Coscino, Patti Levinson, Fedor Kozlov, and Steve Koukios. These five individuals have been dedicated to providing outstanding volunteer legal services for many years, and the special recognition was well deserved. Another way to get involved in the NWSBA is to contact the office and sign up to start performing volunteer legal services in one of several of our programs.

Fall Dinner Meeting – Dinner Meeting Committee Chairs, Joette Doran and Joel Weiner, along with Diversity Committee Chair, Zubair Khan, put together an informative Fall Dinner meeting last month at Ditka’s. The evening included first class speakers, great food, and 2 hours of CLE ethics credit. Ms. Cie Armstead, who has devoted her career to studying and teaching on the subject of diversity got some lively discussion going on the subject of diversity and inclusion in the legal field. Legal tech guru, Catherine Sanders Reach, the Director of Law Practice Management & Technology at the CBA presented on the subject of online reviews and reputation management. Catherine, who has presented at past NWSBA seminars, advocated that we as lawyers need to constantly work to generate as much good online news & reviews, which will help “push down” anything negative that someone happens to write about us. She also discussed how and when to respond to negative online reviews or comments.

 

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Ronald F. Wittmeyer, Jr. practices plaintiffs' personal injury law at his office in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

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