Parker County Today July 2016 - Page 76

JULY 2016 PA R K E R C O U N T Y T O D AY sent those lawyers in organizations like the American Bar Association,” Vick explained. “The real power in it [the position], however, is probably that the state bar president appoints two-to-three hundred lawyers to different committees and commissions and task forces across the state that deal with the practice of law. So the significance of being the bar president and the significance of me being from a small town and practicing family law is that I will appoint … a lot of lawyers from small towns or from small practices or who practice family law who otherwise might not have been appointed. And when that happens you find the conversation changes, the policy changes, how the money gets spent starts to change, as well; because lawyers from places other than Houston and Dallas have a voice in their state bar.” “Most of these appointments are for three-year terms,” Vick added. Appointees often desire to stay on another term, potentially spreading their influence over a six-year period. Asked how he came to be in his 74 current position, preparing to serve as president of the SBT, Vick basically said he decided to “throw his hat into the ring.” Every September the SBT solicits potential candidates for the office, inviting those members interested to add their names to the “hat.” Also, the nomination committee calls lawyers who have served on the board of directors or been active in other bar activities to invite them to put their names forward for consideration. Once the names are gathered, the committee selects five to ten candidates to interview in early December. Ultimately, the field is narrowed to two candidates who “stump” around t he state during the month of March making contact with as many lawyers as possible. (Some 3,000 in Vick’s case.) Voting takes place in April and a winner is announced on the first business day in May. Over the years Vick has served SBT in many capacities, including as a director 2005-2008. His lists of honors and activities are extensive. Registration Open for Summer and Fall 2016 According to Vick, he’d been asked in the past to run for the office but felt the timing was wrong. “Then, a few years ago, I was the chair of the Texas Bar Foundation Board of Trustees and a friend of mine was the [SBT] president — the first criminal defense lawyer who was ever the bar president — and he made some appointments, including some criminal defense lawyers, to the board that I chaired,” explained Vick. “I got to see firsthand how that did change things and affect things. I thought it’s time, probably, for the first-ever family lawyer to run for bar president.” Why so long coming? “Well, there’s a lot of people who work really hard and don’t want to spend the time being the bar president,” Vick replied with a chuckle. “It’s a rather time-consuming job. It doesn’t pay anything, so you continue to practice law while you’re doing it.” Explaining further, Vick said the SBT has three election cycles — a Big City year, a Small City year and an