Executive Director, Monroe County Bar Association
Years in current role: 5
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I enjoy the chance to be creative, particularly given the challenges posed by a changing market at the same time as we face a pandemic and its anticipated consequences. Developments in the legal field, the arrival of a new generation of lawyers, changing expectations of association members, increasing concern about diversity and inclusion in our profession, along with increased competition for lawyers’ time and dollars, pose challenges that require us to be nimble, experimental, socially active. While addressing the day-to-day concerns of the bar association is important and satisfying, the real joy comes from tackling these larger strategic challenges.
What do you see as the biggest changes in the legal industry in the next 3-5 years?
COVID has taught us that we can work remotely and do so effectively. In the future, lawyers will be less tied to brick-and-mortar offices and more likely to work in some hybrid way, sometimes in the traditional office, sometimes elsewhere. In-person meetings will be rarer as clients and lawyers both take advantage of the cost savings and efficiencies offered by technology. This change will spur or accompany changes in litigation and non-litigation practice, in office size, in the configuration of firms, and in the variety of connections between individual lawyer and a firm.
What advice would you give law students who are graduating this year?
The practice of law requires attention to relationships. Technology has changed the way we work, but it has not changed the basic fact that, when we work effectively, we work together. Get to know the other lawyers in your practice area. Learn from them, become friends with some of them, value your time with them. Indeed, get to know the other lawyers in the larger legal community. Connect with them, appreciate their knowledge and experience, find out what makes them feel successful. Doing so will not only increase your chances of success, it will help keep you sane and grounded.