Article byPosted 2019 – 2020 CABA PresidentSeptember 2019
We’ve entered into a new fiscal year for the Capital Area Bar Association (CABA). I am excited to have the opportunity to serve as the President of CABA for the 2019–2020 year.
I want to thank our immediate past president, Will Manuel, for his outstanding leadership. Will worked hard for CABA and continuously shared his energy with all of us. During his presidency, CABA’s 2018–19 year was highlighted by a terrific golf tournament and the inaugural croquet tournament which together raised $10,000 for the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project. Congratulations and thanks also go to our retiring board members Christina Seanor and Andrew Harris, who completed their terms.
This year we hope to activate and engage our members to work together to continue the tradition of service with an emphasis on professionalism. We look forward to continuing CABA’s commitment to pro bono activities and public service. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who recently visited our state, encourages this mission. She says “we educated, privileged lawyers have a professional and moral duty to represent the underrepresented in our society, to ensure that justice exists for all, both legal and economic justice.”
In 2019-2020, CABA will continue to encourage pro bono service. Under-funding of legal services programs threaten access to justice in our communities. But there is hope. Our local pro bono legal service organizations are under excellent leadership and we’ve seen what is possible when we work together.
Pro bono work reminds us of the good that lawyers can do in this world. Many of you answered the call and volunteered at the pro bono legal clinic co-sponsored by CABA and held in the Hinds County Chancery Courthouse on July 26, 2019. A record number of participants received legal assistance; we were able to serve over 130 people. However, the turnout was so large, we had to turn people away. There is obviously still great need. In response, CABA is co-sponsoring another legal clinic at the Hinds County Chancery Courthouse on Friday, October 18, 2019. Whether you practice in Hinds County or the metropolitan areas of Madison and Rankin Counties, we encourage you to volunteer and help ensure access to our legal system for all people.
Professionalism and collegiality remain a critical emphasis for CABA. 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 relationships among our members with CABA social events, service projects, and regular membership meetings.
Please mark your calendar and plan to attend some of this year’s first events. Our annual fall social is Thursday, September 26, at the Iron Horse Grill from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Drinks, appetizers and a tour of the Music Experience at the fall social are all included with your membership. Our annual Christmas party is moving to a new location, Char Restaurant, and will be held December 5 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Again, drinks and appetizers are included with membership. I hope you will join us.
CABA is over 80 years old and is the largest local bar association in Mississippi. We are continually looking for ways to improve the benefits of membership. Let us know your ideas for ways CABA can better fulfill its mission of service to the profession and the community. Better yet, join a committee and help serve. A list of committees is available on our website. Call or email a committee chair, an officer, a board member, or our executive director, Jane Harkins, to volunteer.