This week one of my clients said, “One of the best things I did for my law practice was to get active in the state bar.” Many attorneys who regularly volunteer in their state, local or national bar association tell me similar things. Through bar work they developed friends, referral sources and reliable sounding boards for vexing legal questions and practice management issues. They also became familiar with services and benefits available to them through their bar associations that they had missed out on before.
As a young lawyer, my firm paid my local and state bar association dues, but I didn’t take full advantage of that. I attended a few local CLE lunches and, when I was single, I went to a few young lawyer happy hours. I spent more time in bars serving margaritas than in bars serving the legal profession. To be honest, I felt a little awkward in an environment where more experienced lawyers all seemed to know each other. I told myself that I had too many other demands on my time, and I couldn’t see much benefit anyway.
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