As I have worked my way through the chairs of the IndyBar to become the 2015 president, I have had the good fortune to meet other bar leaders at American Bar Association meetings. I have learned time and again that bar leaders around the country view the IndyBar as the “Gold Standard” of metropolitan bar associations. Indeed, IndyBar past presidents, current officers and professional staff are on the speaker list at every meeting of bar executives and presidents. Why is this the case? The answer is simple. We do more to serve our members, our profession, and our community than the vast majority of other city or county bar associations…and we do it for less money (Have you noticed that our dues have not changed in more than 20 years?).
At a recent retreat of the IndyBar Board of Directors, we did an inventory of all the things that the bar does. Would you believe that we host an astounding number of events, seminars and committee meetings? Most years, our offerings exceed 300 in number, and some years we approach 400 offerings. If you are like me, and you have grown up knowing only the IndyBar, then you would have no idea that our bar association is as phenomenal as it is. We may even admit that we sometimes take it for granted. Many of us have no idea of the advocacy that comes from our bar association, nor do they know that we are nearly 5,000 strong. This is a busy bar association, and the leaders and staff have passion for providing value to members.
So, you are scratching your head and wondering about the hashtag that precedes this article? What does John mean when he asks “Will You Be There?” The short answer is that I want to urge you, your colleagues, and your friends in the law to JOIN the IndyBar and to get engaged and attend our many lunches, seminars and networking events. Our events are outstanding not only for the content and the venues, but also because of the people who attend. The more people we have, the better they are. You are the person we want at our events. If every one of you who reads this article recruits one member this year and brings a colleague to every event, our already strong organization would be beyond phenomenal.
Law firm leaders: we need you this year. We need you to urge your firm members to get involved; we need you to buy tables for our lunches; we need you to sponsor events. We will see to it that your firms find value in your participation.
I fervently hope that 2015 will be a year of engagement for the IndyBar. You will see the hashtag #WILLYOUBETHERE? in many of our event invitations and announcements. You will see it in particular as we promote and invite you to the Bench Bar Conference to be held June 18-20 this year in Louisville, Kentucky. If I have not already seen you and invited you in person, consider yourself invited. This article is your “save the date” reminder. Please put it on your calendar now. I will personally guarantee that you will have a great time.
I look forward to being the IndyBar president this year. Please don’t hesitate to call me if we can do anything for you or you have a question or concern. If you are on Twitter, I hope you follow me @Indybarpres. I will follow you back.
While I may seem excited for 2015, my excitement is no more than a reflection of the excitement of our Board, our committee and section chairs, and our fabulous staff. We want you to share in the excitement.
One last question… #WILLYOUBETHERE?