President's Column

David F. Maron

Article by David F. Maron 2012-2013 CABA President

Email: dmaron@bakerdonelson.com
Posted

This year, CABA celebrates its 80th year of service to the bench and bar of Hinds County and surrounding metropolitan areas. This legacy of service would not have been possible without each of you. Thank you!

We’re looking forward to the new year. I want to thank immediate past president Laura Glaze for her outstanding leadership. During her presidency, CABA’s 2011-12 year was highlighted by several successes, including excellent golf and tennis tournaments (which together raised thousands of dollars for the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project), launching CABA’s electronic newsletter, and a diversity conference which raised $4,000 for the Reuben V. Anderson Minority Scholarships at both MC and Ole Miss law schools.

We look forward to continuing the tradition of service in the new year with an emphasis on communication, professionalism, and public service.

CABA Push Card

Communication is important to CABA membership and will be a focus in the upcoming year. We look forward to expanding service to our members through greater and more flexible access to timely information, publication, and opportunities for service through a new and more interactive website design. Our new CABA Information Card is another tool for us to succinctly communicate who we are, highlight what we do, and offer opportunities to get involved. Communication flows both ways. Let us hear from you!

Professionalism and collegiality also remain a critical emphasis for CABA. In fact, it has long been a core tenet of CABA’s mission statement “to promote and cultivate the spirit of cooperation and good fellowship among the members of this association; and all to the end of fostering and maintaining the highest respect of the members of the community.” We look forward to providing opportunities to strengthen the relationship among our members with CABA social and athletic events, service projects, and regular membership meetings.

We also look forward to continuing CABA’s commitment to pro bono and to public service. Pro bono and public service are at the heart of this honorable profession. As Governor Winter recognized in The Measure of Our Days, we have the “privilege of providing wise and unselfish leadership in the solving of the problems of our community, our state and our nation. We must remember that it will not be enough that we are good lawyers. We must also be good citizens.” There is no greater opportunity to demonstrate that than through pro bono service.

Through the annual golf and tennis tournaments, CABA raised approximately $6,000 for the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project. CABA will continue to encourage pro bono service and to financially support MVLP. Without a doubt, the unmet legal needs of the poor are great and remain a challenge for our justice system. But there is hope. Our local pro bono legal service organizations are under excellent leadership and, more importantly, we’ve seen what is possible. Many who were involved with pro bono disaster legal assistance in the months after Hurricane Katrina witnessed the personal and professional generosity of hundreds of pro bono lawyers that harnessed a spirit of service within our profession. There is still great need. And today, although we’re thankfully not facing the devastation of a natural disaster, I firmly believe that the spirit of service remains at the core of our profession.

As we look forward to CABA’s 80th year, it’s also important to reflect on our history and the men and women who have served as presidents and leaders of CABA. The late Judge Charles Clark, Sherwood Wise, and many other past presidents have left a strong legacy—to the profession, to this bar association and to us individually. Many of them—whether directly or indirectly—have been our personal and professional mentors.

As we begin the summer months of vacation, the bar convention, summer clerks and (soon) new lawyers, take time to mentor a young lawyer or law student. In the foreword to his ethics treatise, Professor Jackson begins “in law practice, I had a mentor…” Perhaps the best way to begin building on CABA’s next 80 years is to start mentoring the next generation.