Winter 2019 Gavel Gavel Winter 2019 - Page 2

SBAND PRESIDENT THE ROLE OF AN SBAND PRESIDENT ZACK PELHAM SBAND President People often ask me, how is your year as president going? And, how much time away from the office does serving take? Or, just what does the president of your bar association do? My answers are generally short. My year is going well, I make the time away from my office work, and the president leads board meetings, helps put out fires, and speaks at official functions to name a few areas of responsibility. In this column, I’d like to expound beyond my typical short answer to give you a better picture of what an SBAND president actually does (for you past-presidents out there – you know experiences may vary). I’ve made it a point to talk to your local bar associations. So far in my term, I’ve had the honor of speaking to the Ward County Bar Association, Lake Region Bar Association, Cass County Bar Association, and Greater Grand Forks County Bar Association. I will soon be speaking to the Upper Missouri Bar Association and Big Muddy Bar Association. I feel it is important to “show the flag.” Outlining the various SBAND programs, committees, and features available may seem repetitive to some. But for our new attorneys, it is probably the first they have heard of these benefits. I’ve stressed the importance of involvement – getting involved in your local bar associations, local communities, and with SBAND. What I have appreciated most from these meetings is seeing the generally younger attorneys who have taken on leadership roles within these local bar associations. It is in our local bar associations that our state’s future leaders will be found – leading the communities they practice in, their clients through difficult situations, and SBAND. You have a dedicated group of leaders serving on SBAND’s board of governors. Each judicial district has an elected board member. In addition, UND’s School of Law dean, a representative of the young lawyer section, and the ABA state representative serve on the board. Take the time to look up your representative and thank them for their service. While I lead the agenda items, our board members engage in thoughtful and spirited discussion on the various issues facing SBAND. And, of course, much of the board’s direction is ably executed by SBAND’s executive director and staff. I’ve had the honor to speak at investitures and new lawyer swearing in ceremonies. These are great events. They are events to honor those who have achieved great things. While challenges abound for these new judges and new attorneys, taking a moment to recognize their accomplishments is important. We’ve all attended conferences. Being SBAND president has given me the opportunity to meet other leaders from across the country at various bar organization-centered conferences. I’ve especially enjoyed interacting with bar presidents from similarly sized states who face many of the same challenges we do. Interacting with a wider audience of bar leaders advances our state bar in that these contacts help foster ideas and resolve issues we face. SBAND faces challenges. There will always be varying opinions, and there is always a place for civil debate. But what I have experienced as president of your bar association are professionals dedicated to serving their clients, their local communities, and their state. I have seen first-hand the array of programs, resources, and tools you have available through SBAND. I encourage you to engage your state bar association through the numerous opportunities it offers. Call for CLE Speakers SBAND and the North Dakota CLE Commission sponsor seminars and programs throughout the year in all sorts of formats, including live, webinars, and IVNs. We want to know about SBAND members who have ideas for topics or who are interested in being a presenter. Contact Carrie Molander at carrie@sband.org. 2 THE GAVEL