Within the past two weeks I have had the pleasure of being a part of the 2016 planning retreats for the sections, committees and board of the Indianapolis Bar Association and the board of the Indianapolis Bar Foundation. Bar leaders of every age, practice area and firm size were present. We had private practice lawyers, judges, prosecutors, financial and tax advisors, government agency lawyers, public defenders, in-house corporate attorneys and paralegals.
One thing that all of these IndyBar members had in common was passion. They had passion for our profession, passion for justice, passion for the careers of women, passion for young lawyers, passion for diversity, passion for their substantive practice areas, passion for pro bono service, passion for the IndyBar friendships they have developed, passion for leadership and, above all else, passion to deliver value to you!
Whether you realize it or not, YOU were the focus of these retreats. Every single thing we discussed and every plan we conceived was for you. Why? Because we want you to join, engage, contribute, and participate in lifting up our profession and our community. We want you to reap the benefits and the value of belonging to the Indianapolis Bar Association and contributing to the Indianapolis Bar Foundation.
So, here is where I need your input: Please … tell me why you are not a member of the Indianapolis Bar Association. Or, if you are a member, tell me why you are not actively engaged. Tell me why you have not signed up for a section or committee and why do you not partake of the excellent and inexpensive CLE they provide. Tell me why you don’t take the time to attend our lunches and network with other Indianapolis lawyers.
Barely 15 percent of the nearly 5,000 members of the Indianapolis Bar Association contribute to the Indianapolis Bar Foundation. Please … tell me why not. Are you unaware of the fact that the IBF funds the majority of the pro bono and other free legal offerings of the Indy Bar? Are you unaware of the annual Impact Fund Grant given by the IBF to fund impactful public programs that support activities to bring peace to our inner city and conflict resolution in our schools? Please, tell me what we can do to make IBF part of your annual charitable giving. (In case you are of a mind to donate today, IBF would be very grateful. We are only $20,000 shy of a very ambitious goal for 2015, and your donation could push to or past that goal before Dec. 31.)
These “tell me why?” questions are not merely rhetorical, although I hope that you get the point that there is great value in IndyBar and IBF that you are missing if you are not involved. I really do want to hear from you. Feel free to email me at email@example.com if you have reasons that you want to share with me. I will listen, respond and report back to the association. All of the passionate leaders who work hard every day to make IndyBar one of the best metropolitan bar associations in America will take to heart what you have to tell us. We just need to hear it.
A great American, William Jennings Bryan, once said, “Opportunity is a matter of choice, not chance.” As you look ahead to 2016 like we did, I hope that you will take the opportunities provided by the IndyBar and IBF to fuel your career, have fun, make friends, serve our community, and promote justice by engaging with the Indianapolis Bar Association and the Indianapolis Bar Foundation. We have a place for you. Please … Tell me why not?•