Message from your President
April 2015 President's Corner
Spring training is in full swing. Teams are preparing to head north form Arizona and Florida and the time honored ritual of opening day is fast approaching. Can it really be April already??
With the arrival of spring, new life emerges. For your State Bar, the new life is in the form of a new website which is soon to be launched. In conjunction with our annual meeting in June, the State Bar’s new website, SoDak Bar Network will be unveiled. A lot of hard work, time and resources have gone into preparing this new website which will offer significant opportunities to our members. This site will become the one stop shop for South Dakota lawyers to learn, communicate and share resources with their colleagues. Listservs, a member’s only section and the ability to create a community for on-line collaborations will be some of the advantages that this new site will bring to practitioners of all ages, practice areas and locations. The site is currently being tested by various groups and will be an exciting change going forward.
As we travel to regional and national meetings, a constant topic of discussion is how to insure that members get adequate value for their dues. In South Dakota, there is no question that even though we are an integrated Bar, our dues are a bargain when you consider the benefits you receive. In addition to the creation of SoDak Bar Network, providing free CLE programming to our members is unique. If you attend even one CLE a year, you receive more than the value of your dues. Our CLE committee continues to do stellar work in arranging timely, topical and high quality programs through out the year. Watch for new Law for Lunch programs and join in these fast hitting and timely CLE opportunities which we hope to convert to a webinar format on SoDak Bar Network.
Twenty years ago, your Bar leaders saw fit to start Dakota Disc. This research tool has kept the cost of staying up-to-date with research possible at an extremely affordable cost. In fact, the State Bar has never raised the price of Dakota Disc. As a Dakota Disc subscriber, you are also entitled, at no additional cost, to access Fastcase. Fastcase is a national on-line research site that gives you access to all 50 states’ statutes and case law as well as federal statues, US Supreme Court and Circuit Court cases. Additional databases are also accessible, some of which are also included with a Dakota Disc subscription and some of which come at a reduced cost. Consider a switch Dakota Disc and Fastcase as it could save you and your firm. South Dakota’s contract with Fastcase has been extended and will be a benefit for our members for years to come. Contact the Bar office to secure access to Fastcase with your Dakota Disc subscription. A Fastcase App is also available for your mobile device.
The time for our free annual meeting is also fast approaching. This should be an exciting opportunity to learn, share, plan and meet up with friends, old and new. The keynote speaker at our business meeting will be James Sandman, the President of Legal Services Corporation, the federal corporation which oversees the funding of legal services organizations nation wide. Mr. Sandman has a fascinating background and exemplifies the dedication that so many in our profession have for serving the under privileged who need legal assistance. You won’t want to miss his address. Be sure to make plans to attend the annual meeting and contact the Bar office to register for all of the events, including our opening banquet.
We are fortunate in South Dakota to be able to offer our members so many benefits which are often overlooked or taken for granted. Your Bar leadership and administration are always looking for ways to continually improve and expand the programs and services we provide at the most economical cost possible. When compared to other states, your Bar dues are truly a bargain. We hear it everywhere we go, “the State Bar of South Dakota gets it and does it better than anyone.” We should be proud and are truly fortunate to be a part of such a great association.
Remember to take time this spring to get away from your office and enjoy all that the great outdoors of South Dakota has to offer. The work will be there tomorrow. You will benefit from recharging your batteries, no matter how long the break. You owe it to yourself, your family and your clients.