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State Bar of South Dakota
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Pierre, SD 57501
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Message from your President

 

APRIL 2014
LET'S RE-IMAGINE THE PROFESSION, TOGETHER!

All State Bar Association leadership and work on behalf of the State Bar Members is, and should be, designed and intended to make the Members' practice of law easier, more enjoyable, more fulfilling and more satisfying.

As a reminder under the authority of the South Dakota Constitution, Article 5, Judicial Department, and Title 16, Courts and Judiciary, Chapter 17, The State Bar, Appendix, By-Laws, of the South Dakota Codified Laws, the purposes, aims and objects of the State Bar, a public association, shall continue to be:

1. To obtain the cooperation of all the practicing lawyers in the state in the better administration of justice, and in maintaining a high standard of professional conduct at the bar;
2. To furnish a legal entity through which the considered judgment of its members on matters affecting the judicial system of the state may be ascertained and made available to the courts and the Legislature;
3. To uphold the honor of the profession of the law;
4. To encourage adequate preparation for its practice; and
5. To promote cordial intercourse among the members of the South Dakota Bar.

SDCL 16-17-1, -2. Strategic Plan implementation seeks to further these purposes, aims and objects. And, Strategic Plan implementation necessarily considers professional trends, market changes and bar association issues across the country. Based on my travels and the state and national conferences and meetings I attended this year, I share a synopsis of these considerations.

Trends Changing the Profession
1. Globalization;
2. Technology; and
3. Demographics.
In 1970, there were approximately 300,000 attorneys in the U.S. In 2013, there are over 1,000,000 attorneys in the U.S., more like 1,200,000.

Factors to Consider on Market Change
1. Globalization;
2. Disaggregation;
3. Technology; and
4. Commoditization.

National Conferences and Meetings Main Issues

1. Human Trafficking;
2. Funding, both the justice system and legal services;
3. Legal Education, its cost and the value proposition of a law degree; and
4. Legal Employment.

Issues to be Considered by Organized Bars

1. The continuing relevance of bar associations to four generations of members;
2. The threats to the fairness and impartiality of our courts;
3. The delivery of legal services to the poor and those with modest means;
4. Serving members in a tight economy;
5. Diversity; and
6. Globalization of the law practice.

Suggestions for Bar Associations
1. Preserve Core Values;
2. Think Outside the Box;
3. Help the Profession Create its Own Future;
4. Embrace Technology; and
5. Add Value

In my judgment, you can be proud, as I am, of your State Bar Association on a national and state level. Everywhere I go in the nation as your representative of our Bar Association, South Dakota is quite well-known. South Dakota is on the leading edge of planning and action in many areas: 1) Strategic Planning; 2) Mentorship; 3) CLE Programming; 4) Addressing Funding Issues for the Justice System and for Legal Services; and 4) Project Rural Practice.

Our Executive Director/Secretary-Treasurer, Tom Barnett, is well-known and well-respected by the ABA as an innovative and outside-the-box thinker. Charlie Thompson, who in the past lost the ABA presidency by a single vote, Judge Dave Gienapp, Bob Freiberg and Dick Travis, who represented and represent us as Delegates to the ABA House of Delegates, are equally well-known and well-respected.

Recent Past Presidents Bob Morris, Dick Casey, Pat Goetzinger and Tom Nicholson moved us forward significantly with strategic planning, creative initiatives and operational action under our Strategic Plan. Tom Barnett, DeeAnn Stevens, Nicole Ogan and Francy Foral at State Bar Headquarters in Pierre, along with the Bar Commission and our multiple, voluntary Bar Committees/Sections, continue to move us forward this year in an equally significant manner to implement the Strategic Plan.

Second Circuit Women in Law
I had the privilege last fall of speaking with the Second Circuit Women in Law group in Sioux Falls. I note one item I shared with them: consultant Verna Myers’ comments at the March 2013 ABA Bar Leadership Institute in Chicago, IL.
Ms. Myers was defining inclusivity as a process. She made the point by this anecdote: in 1953, the first women were admitted to the Harvard Law School. But, there were no women’s bathrooms at HLS. Ms. Myers asked a poignant question: why did HLS not remember the bathrooms?

Ms. Myers compared gender diversity to gender inclusivity.

Diversity is counting. Inclusivity is cultivating.

Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusivity is being asked to dance.

I consider the following questions when thinking about Bar Association relevance and value to our Members, male and female alike:

  • Do you feel included in the Bar Association?
  • Do you feel the Bar Association is accessible to you?
  • Do you feel the Bar Association empowers you as a Member?
  • Do you feel the Bar Association embraces young and women attorneys?
  • Do you feel welcome to our Bar Association?
  • Do your feel respected by our Bar Association?
  • Do you feel your views are solicited by our Bar Association?
  • Do you feel connected to our Bar Association?

Suggestions on the Basics/Expand the Dance Card


1. Say “Hello” to people.
2. Connect with people.
3. Look around, approach people.
4. Talk about your and the Bar Association’s purposes, aims, objects, vision, goals, strategic areas, interests and roles.
5. Ask, “How are we doing?”
6. It is not about perfection: it is about connection.
7. Communicate, ask, listen.
8. Listen to young attorneys.
9. Listen to women attorneys.

Our Oath, our Rules of Professional Responsibility, the Rule of Law and our Fair and Impartial Courts inform and support Strategic Plan implementation and consideration of all of these issues.

A2J/Thank You to Director, Cheryl Hanna

Congratulations and thank you to Cheryl. On behalf of South Dakota Access to Justice, Inc., Cheryl recently published an insightful article in the ABA Legal Services Division, Commission on IOLTA quarterly Dialogue Magazine, entitled “Grantee Spotlight: The Big Work of a Small State: South Dakota’s Access to Justice, Inc.”

Cheryl cogently explains A2J’s 2005 inception, mission, purposes, history and funding, and the administration of A2J’s seven current programs throughout South Dakota. She also emphasizes A2J’s close working relationships among all stakeholders, including the collaborative effort with South Dakota’s two legal services programs, East River Legal Services and Dakota Plains Legal Services. Cheryl correctly observes, in my judgment, “we are fortunate to have a bar and judiciary who work hard . . . to effectively address the justice gap . . . .”
I commend the article to you at: http://www.americanbar.org/content/newsletter/publications/dialogue_home/dialogue_archive/ls_dial_wi14_iolta3.html


Terry Hofer
President

 


 

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