I joined right out of law school and I’ve been a member ever since. I think it is important to get to know other attorneys in the local legal community because you are provided with so many helpful hints and tips with local practice.
I’ve chaired the WCBA Golf Outing (annual event since 1993) for the last four years and hold the record for the most participants and money raised for the event in its history in a single year. One day I may hold the WCBA trophy, but what I enjoy most are the interpersonal connections I make from the event. The greatest benefit I enjoy as a member is getting to know other lawyers.
My dad was a member of the WCBA throughout his career. In 1977, he wrote on his WCBA membership application in the comment section, “Glad to be here.” I know this because a member in the office gave me a copy of it when I joined. Those four words meant something to him and bring significance to me today. Because, I am glad to be here too, glad to be alive, and glad to be a member of a group of good people.
I haven’t been a member for long, but I joined because I want to get to know my new legal community.
I have been a WCBA member since 1997. The WCBA has been a partner throughout my career, enabling me to network and learn from the probate and estate planning section, allowing me to lead fiduciary training for court appointments, offering pro bono and volunteer opportunities and a chance to participate in social events. The WCBA office in the courthouse has saved me on multiple occasions with the use of their computers and printers. The membership fee has paid for itself.
I practiced for almost 20 years in Wayne County, Michigan, at the Law Firm of Rock and Borgelt. Over the years, I had cases in Washtenaw County. I had not spent a great deal of time here. However, an attorney I knew was retiring and he had a practice in Saline. I decided to open my practice in Saline and see if I could make my law practice work. The lawyers in Washtenaw County were extremely kind and generous with their assistance and many of them suggested that one of the ways to become involved in the community, continue with a good legal education, and have other events where I could meet with many of the other lawyers would be to become part of the Washtenaw County Bar Association, which I did shortly after coming to the area.
One of the greatest benefits of the Washtenaw County Bar Association is the camaraderie, helpfulness, and the generous nature of the various members of the Bar. If I need to bounce ideas, discuss new strategies or anything else regarding the practice of law, there are a number of people whom I have met through the Washtenaw County Bar Association that are more than happy to lend a hand.
The WCBA provides me with an ear into the legal community of Washtenaw County, an opportunity to know fellow attorneys personally, and a chance to keep up to date on changing legal issues. The greatest benefit is getting to know other lawyers, putting names to faces, and making the big world of law a little smaller.
The people who are members of the WCBA make the organization so special. I’ve met the most interesting, intelligent, and helpful people at WCBA functions. The CLE’s are very helpful too.
Washtenaw County is where we call home, and being an active member of the community is key if you want to make an impact. The WCBA gives me an avenue to connect with other attorneys in the area and to continue my growth. As I said earlier, learning from the best in the area is key to your own success and the best in Washtenaw are all members of the WCBA.
We are all stronger when working together, or when acting as a group. It is also good for us, the practice and profession, to see one another outside the courtroom or office, to work together, and do non-law activities together. It fosters greater collegiality and respect among people who often are in roles designed to make us adversarial. I will always try to join any group or organization of like-minded or similarly situated people. I enjoy the yearly parties and think we need more “fun” or active bar events for all of us to attend, as opposed to a particular section event that may not readily appeal to more than the section members.
The WCBA encourages you to join our legal community today and to write your own story. Membership comes with quantifiable benefits like CLE opportunities, local lawyer referrals, and administrative assistance in the courthouse – along with career-enhancing professional camaraderie that is hard to beat.