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NABE News - June 2017 - President's Message
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NABE President's Message - June 2017

By Zoe W. Linza


The joys of summer are upon us. Backyard barbeques, pool time, and summer vacations remind me once again why this is my favorite time of year. I think I also like summer because it is like a new beginning. We all started our “life of routine” with a return to school in fall and end of school celebrations that couldn’t come soon enough! Summer meant end of year report cards and new beginnings of tennis lessons, swim lessons, camp, whatever your mother signed you up to do!

One of my early jobs was working for the Missouri Senate. Again I fell into a pattern of cycles—the legislative session began with fanfare and ended usually with fireworks close to the start of summer.

Zoe with Clarence Thomas

At BAMSL, our bar year begins with Law Day, May 1. The event celebrates our changing of the guard with installation of new officers, annual awards are given, both Lifetime Achievement and Presidential Awards for those who gave special support to the president that year. We also always have a well-known keynote speaker, from the Governor in years past to this year when we were honored to host the Honorable Clarence Thomas, U.S. Supreme Court. As executive director, I had the pleasure of working with him throughout the event. I was touched by his charm and humble and polite behaviors, something I had not anticipated. This was the third U.S. Supreme Court Justice I had hosted in my ten year tenure at BAMSL. Justice Samuel Alito was our Law Day keynote speaker at BAMSL a few years earlier and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor opened our Judicial Learning Center in our federal courthouse.

This got me to thinking on one of my runs (where I do my best thinking) how lucky we are as bar executives to have opportunities to interact with well-known individuals. Not only for photo-ops, but to actually interact with these personalities on a personal level. Our jobs offer lots of challenges, yes, but also such rewarding opportunities to work with lawyers with a heart; lawyers that care about our organizations and larger communities. We know our state’s legislative leaders or local trustees and council members. We can impact policy. We are in a position as executives to promote the rule of law and make the good work of our members known and call some of the leaders of our cities not only members but friends.

So, as I’m winding down my tenure as NABE President (and last president’s article…so sad…not!), I’m reminded by sunny longer days why I love summer and by my work why I love being a bar executive. I hope the same for all of you.

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